USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, February 28 - March 6, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Turkish Prime Minister to Press: Censor What You Write
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the country's media of trying to undermine a nascent Kurdish peace process, according to a Reuters report. The agency says he has called on journalists to censor themselves if they love their nation, a suggestion that has gone down badly with the press.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 3/6/13)
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Kenyan Journalists Offered Support Hotline During Election
Journalists threatened with violence or intimidation while covering Kenya's presidential election on Monday will be able to report the abuse to a distress hotline, in an effort to prevent the hostilities that marred the 2007 poll. All journalists with Kenyan election accreditation will be given the support line number, established by the Media Council of Kenya with funding from the Rory Peck Trust.
See the full article (Guardian, Josh Halliday, 3/4/13)
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Pakistan Journalist Gunned Down
Senior reporter Malik Mumtaz was shot to death while driving home in the city of Miranshah, capital of the tribal region of north Waziristan, last Wednesday. The journalist reported for Geo TV, as well as other Urdu and English speaking newspapers. His murder prompted a widespread outcry and a protest rally by groups of journalists.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 3/4/13)
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The End of a Human Rights Heavyweight?
At a meeting in Washington this month, foreign ministers of the Organization of American States (OAS) will consider a series of "reforms" to the commission and its office on freedom of expression that would have the effect of defunding or blocking what has been the OAS's most visible and effective work, from the defense of indigenous groups to the protection of journalists.
See the full article (Washington Post, Jackson Diehl, 3/13/13)
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Watchdog Says Afghan Government Must Act to Protect Media Gains
The closure of a local radio station in southeastern Afghanistan has prompted calls for the central government to step in to protect media freedoms. The Voice of Qalat, a radio station based in the city of Qalat in Zabul Province, was taken off the air and a number of its journalists were detained by local police on February 28.
See the full article (RFE/RL, Mustafa Sarwar, 3/2/13)
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The Brotherhood vs. the Free Press
Egypt's new rulers are determined to tighten their grip on the media scene in Cairo. I should know -- they had me fired. Launching what would become an established tradition in our coverage of major events, we drew on our own journalists and a network of Ahram reporters throughout the country to provide our readers with a live, "blow-by-blow" account of election day, which featured vote-rigging by the ruling party's bigwigs. Ahram management got into a tizzy.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Hani Shukrallah, 3/1/13)
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Internet and Social Media

Language in Kenyan Politics: Coded Red
#KENYADECIDES is the tag for Africa-watchers this week, but some of the most important post-election activity is atwitter on mobile phones. With the post-election violence five years ago still raw in Kenya's memory, it's little wonder that observers are holding their breath-and their phones-today. Mass media were used to incite violence after the last election.
See the full article (Economist, 3/6/13)
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Digital Jihad: Inside Al-Qaeda's Social Networks
Almost a decade after their emergence, Al-Qaeda's password-protected online forums continue to remain popular. Government officials in the U.S and elsewhere have spoken out against the message boards, which are used by jihadis to converse and distribute information, saying they serve as a recruiting tool for terrorists and have been used to incite violence against the West.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Deana Kjuka, 3/6/13) *Foreign Policy sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Mexican Online Journalist Murdered
Gunmen shot dead online journalist Jaime Gonzalez Dominguez while he was eating at a taco stand in the Mexican border town of Ojinaga. The killing comes days before a meeting of the Inter-American Press Association in the central Mexican city of Puebla. The group has often expressed concern about the risks faced by journalists in the country.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 3/5/13)
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Kenyans Mock Foreign Media Coverage on Twitter
Many observers have watched Kenya's presidential election with bated breath, largely out of fear that the country could again see the kind of violence that killed 1,000 people in 2007. But on Twitter, at least, some Kenyans are sick of the attention - and want the media to know it. Two hashtags mocking foreign media went viral on Kenyan Twitter today, both directed at outlets that reported on the possibility of violence and disorganization at the polls.
See the full article (Washington Post, Caitlin Dewey, 3/4/13)
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Harnessing 'Pester Power' to Avoid Violence in Kenya's Election
The Electoral Commission, with funding from Kenya's largest mobile phone network, Safaricom, is harnessing "pester power" in an attempt to boost turnout and keep the polls peaceful. Pledge forms for parents to sign have been distributed with 9.5 million copies of one of the country's most popular comics. School children can win prizes when they return the forms.
See the full article (Christian Science Monitor, Fredrick Nzwili, 3/3/13)
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'Harlem Shake' Protests in Tunisia and Egypt
The rapid evolution of the "Harlem Shake," from a dance to a song to a viral video craze to a new form of Middle East protest, continued apace on Thursday. Hundreds of protesters danced outside the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, Egypt, and students and ultraconservative Islamists known as Salafists clashed in Sidi Bouzid, the Tunisian town where the wave of uprisings in the Arab world began with a very different gesture of defiance.
See the full article (New York Times, Robert Mackey, 2/28/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Twitter in Pyongyang: How North Korea Got the Mobile Internet
"Hello world from comms center in #Pyongyang." That Twitter missive, sent Monday from Koryolink's main service centre in downtown Pyongyang using my iPhone, marked a milestone for North Korea: it was believed to be the first tweet sent from a mobile phone using the country's new 3G mobile data service.
See the full article (Guardian, Jean H. Lee, 2/28/13)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"Women@Google: Leymah Gbowee in conversation with Megan Smith" - @Google Talks
Leymah Gbowee was only 17 when the Second Liberian Civil War erupted. As a young mother trapped in a nightmare of domestic abuse, she found the courage to turn her bitterness into action, realizing that it is women who suffer most during conflicts-and that the power of women working together can create an unstoppable force. Working as a social worker and trauma counselor during the war, she organized the Women of Liberian Mass Action for Peace. This group was crucial in bringing an end to the civil war in 2003.
See the full video
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