USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, January 31 - February 6, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

**Click here to subscribe to USIP's Science, Technology and Peacebuilding News Roundup.**

Media and Journalism

Fear Spreads After Somali Journalist Jailing
The mood of journalists at the Dalsan radio station in Somalia's capital is sombre. Earlier in the day, a senior journalist at the station, Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, was sentenced to a year in prison after interviewing a woman who alleged that government soldiers raped her. Ibrahim is the third journalist jailed by Somali authorities in the past three months. Somalia is one of the toughest places for journalists to operate. More than 50 journalists have been killed in the country since 1992.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, Hamza Mohamed, 2/6/13)
[Return to top]

US Sanctions Iran's Broadcasters
The United States Wednesday imposed sanctions on Iranian state-sponsored broadcasters as it continues to pressure Iran over the country's controversial nuclear program. A U.S. official said those named are involved in censorship, jamming, and using social media to hunt down political activists. The broadcasters are being targeted as a government censor of Iran's opposition movement. Under U.S. law, the Treasury Department can target anyone in Iran it believes restricts the flow of information to the Iranian public.
See the full article (Voice of America, 2/6/13)
[Return to top]

Colombia's FARC Rebels Deny Peace Talks Foundering, Criticize Media
Colombia's main rebel group denied on Monday that peace negotiations with the government are foundering and accused that country's media of trying to derail the talks. Marco Leon Calarca, a negotiator for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, blamed sectors of the Colombian media for hyping disagreements between rebels and the Colombian government and advocating against the talks. He singled out Caracol radio, one of the country's most listened to stations, as being behind attempts to sabotage the effort by turning public opinion against the rebels.
See the full article (AP, 2/4/13)
[Return to top]

Burma Literary Festival Flourishes Under Patron Aung San Suu Kyi
Sessions at the Irrawaddy literary festival, which ended on Sunday, were held in Burmese and English and varied from workshops on photojournalism and discussions on censorship and violence to poetry readings and film screenings. Audience members stood up to share their tales of being political prisoners under Burma's five-decade long military regime, or to ask questions on how their country could gain greater literary clout.
See the full article (Guardian, Kate Hodal, 2/3/13)
[Return to top]

Egypt's Government Apologizes After a Beating Is Televised
Egypt's interior minister offered a rare apology on Saturday after officers under his command were seen on television beating a naked man two blocks from the presidential palace. The spectacle of the beating quickly revived fury at Egypt's police force, whose record of brutality helped set off the revolt against Hosni Mubarak, the former president, and served as a reminder that nearly two years later, the new president, Mohamed Morsi, had taken few steps to reform the police.
See the full article (New York Times, Kareem Fahim and Mai Ayyad, 2/2/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
[Return to top]

Iran's Media: The New Red Lines
Over the past days, at least 14 reporters have been detained in a sweep of reform-minded news outlets in the country. They worked for seven different news outlets but the implication is that most of them also did work for foreign media outlets the government calls 'anti-revolutionary'. The timing of these arrests is significant: In five months, Iran will hold presidential elections - the first after the 2009 polls that saw huge protests in Tehran, the footage of which was beamed around Iran and across the world.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, 2/2/13)
[Return to top]

Vacation on Syria's Front Lines Goes Wrong for Russian Judge
A Russian judge who decided to spend his vacation moonlighting as a war correspondent in Syria survived being shot in the face and arm this week in the Damascus suburb of Darayya, according to the Web news agency he writes for as a volunteer. The shooting of the judge, Sergey Aleksandrovich Berezhnoy, was caught on video by the crew from the Abkhazian Network News Agency he was accompanying as it reported on a unit of the Syrian Army fighting rebel forces outside the capital.
See the full article (New York Times, 1/31/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
[Return to top]

Journalist Arrested in Iraq for Taking Photos
A French-Australian journalist has been under detention in Iraq for a week for allegedly taking pictures in a restricted area in Baghdad's southern Dora district. Iraq's journalists' association called for Dendoune's immediate release, as did the New York-based press freedom watchdog, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). It said his arrest is due to ambiguities in Iraq's 2011 media law that have created unnecessary barriers about obtaining access to information.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 1/31/13)
[Return to top]


Internet and Social Media

Tracking Rape in Syria through Social Media
Rape has long been a weapon of war, but documenting sexual violence usually happens after a conflict is over. Researchers are taking a new path with the Syrian conflict: tracking the incidents of rape as they occur. The Women Under Siege project is live-tracking how sexualized violence is being used in Syria. What's new is the data: information collected through crowdsourcing - reports on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from inside the country - which is then analyzed by public health researchers at Columbia University.
See the full article (NPR, Deborah Amos, 2/5/13)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "The Missing Peace Symposium" on February 14, 2013 at 8:30am.
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Family of Missing US Journalist Advertises His Name, Photo on Social Media in Syria
It has been 75 days since a U.S. journalist was reported missing in Syria, and his family has stepped up their campaign to find him, using social media to advertise his name and photo in that country. The advertisement on Facebook, Twitter and other sites shows a photo of the 39-year-old [James] Foley. It says he is a reporter last seen in Syria, says his family is looking for information on his whereabouts and points to a website about him.
See the full article (AP, 2/5/13)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

How Skype Is Helping Topple a Dictator in Syria
The toolbox of the average rebel fighting in Syria is full of things you have probably never touched: an AK-47, grenades, sniper rifle. But it also has something you might use every day: Microsoft Skype. Skype is the go-to social network for communication between rebels, anti-government activists, journalists and officials inside and outside of Syria. Why? Skype uses wiretapping-resistant Voice over IP (VoIP) technology, making it safer for transmitting messages while under the watchful eyes and ears of government censors.
See the full article (Mashable, Alex Fitzpatrick, 2/5/13)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

How to Verify User-generated Video in a War Zone
When young Arabs took to the streets of North Africa in 2011 to fight for democracy armed with Internet-connected mobile phones, few, if any, were there to shake the foundations of traditional news reporting. But their YouTube videos and other social media content have become a staple of news coverage from the region. Even the biggest news organizations now regularly air videos shot by Libyans or Syrians who have no journalism training. Without these videos, certain news events and personal stories within them would fade out of public sight.
See the full article (PBS, Jenny Hauser, 2/4/13)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Somalia's al-Shabab Opens New Twitter Account
Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group has opened a new Twitter account in English, less than two weeks after its previous account was suspended. Al-Shabab's previous English-language account was suspended after it used it to announce it would kill a French hostage and then said it had done so. Twitter's rules say that threats of violence are banned but it refused to comment on the suspension.
See the full article (BBC, 2/4/13)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

North Korea Propaganda Taken Off YouTube after Activision Complaint
A propaganda video from the North Korea authorities has been removed from YouTube following a copyright claim by games maker Activision. The clip showed a young man dreaming about a North Korean space shuttle destroying a city that resembles New York. But the footage of burning buildings was taken from Activision's top selling game, Call of Duty. North Korea insists its space programme is for peaceful purposes.
See the full article (BBC, 2/3/13)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

A Conversation With the Man Who Tweets Revolutions
Throughout the months of the Arab Spring, the twitter feed of NPR senior strategist Andy Carvin was a one stop shop for keeping up with events in the region--even though Carvin was a world away in Washington D.C. Now Carvin has written a new book about his experience, Distant Witness: Social Media, the Arab Spring and a Journalism Revolution, and sat down with [On the Media] for a live event to discuss his reporting with social media.
See the full article (NPR, 2/1/13)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Kenyan Web Monitors Work to Avert Election Violence
In the corner of a light, airy room in Nairobi, three young Kenyans are staring at computer screens, quietly scrolling through thousands of blogs, tweets and comments, searching for hate speech before the Kenyan general election. Amid fears that the vote will descend into the kind of violence that followed the election in 2007, when at least 1,200 people were killed, a research project has been launched to monitor the way political issues are discussed online.
See the full article (Guardian, Clar Ni Chonghaile, 1/31/13)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]


What's New from PeaceMedia

"Thanga Sewal: Peace Building through Drama" - Young Asia Television
Thenga Sewal teaches the Tamil children of Sri Lanka the importance of forgiveness and cooperation through Russian theatrical folk tales. Visting Columbo and Tamil-dominated eastern Sri Lanka, Thenga spreads a message of peace to all children.
See the full video
[Return to top]

Click here to subscribe to USIP's Science, Technology and Peacebuilding News Roundup.

Did we miss anything?



Share this: FacebookDeliciousDiggMySpaceStumbleUponGoogleMicrosoftYahoo! BookmarksLinkedIn| Forward this to a Friend