USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, April 18 - 24, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Bashar's War
Television, radio, and print outlets controlled by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad articulate a single vision of the war: that the Syrian Arab Army is waging an unrelenting campaign against terrorists led by Jabhat al-Nusra, an affiliate of al Qaeda, who are the vanguard of a "universal" conspiracy against the Syrian people.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Sam Heller, 4/23/13) *Foreign Policy sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Somali Broadcasting Journalist Killed
Somali journalist Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh was shot and killed on Sunday while returning from work to his home in the capital, Mogadishu. He was the fourth reporter to be murdered in the country this year. All the attacks were blamed on al-Shabaab, which warned afterwards of more to come.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 4/23/13)
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Inspiration Inflation
Have you heard the one about the English-language jihadist magazine targeting Western Muslims? No, not the Taliban's whimsically named In-Fight Magazine. And it's not Mujahedin Monthly, or Al Hussam, or Afghan Mirror, or Afghan Jihad. No, the only English-language jihadist magazine you've probably ever heard of is Inspire, and you're probably going to hear a lot more about it in the near future.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, J.M. Berger, 4/23/13) *Foreign Policy sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Pakistani Journalists Who Gained from 'Secret Fund' Named
Pakistan's rapacious media is not known for ignoring a juicy story, particularly one involving secret government slush funds used to buy political support. But on Monday, the country's websites and televisions stations were oddly muted when the supreme court ordered the release of a list of hundreds of payments made to journalists which, critics claim, were part of an effort to buy the government favourable coverage.
See the full article (Guardian, Jon Boone, 4/22/13)
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Teaching the Limits of Media Freedom Is Tricky in the Gulf
When Matt J. Duffy first got a job teaching journalism at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi in 2010, he was thrilled. Besides teaching courses in storytelling, journalistic ethics, and media regulation at Zayed, Dr. Duffy, an enthusiastic blogger, became a frequent contributor to Gulf News, a Dubai newspaper. He also was chairman of a conference on the role of the media in the Arab Spring, started a student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and organized campus celebrations of World Press Freedom Day last May. Three months later, he was expelled from the United Arab Emirates without any explanation.
See the full article (New York Times, D. D. Guttenplan, 4/21/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Internet and Social Media

YaLa Young Leaders
Launched in May 2011 as a joint partnership between the Peres Center for Peace and YaLa Palestine, based in Ramallah and chaired by Salah Elayyan, the Palestinian Authority's cabinet secretary, YaLa-Young Leaders is a Facebook-based movement that promotes dialogue and engagement as a means to secure a safe, productive, and peaceful Middle East. It sounds utopian. But the movement has grown to 355,000 people.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Aaron David Miller, 4/24/13) *Foreign Policy sign-up may be required to view the full article
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How People in the Middle East Actually Use Social Media
Since the suicide of an underfoot fruit vendor in Tunisia, the Arab world has generated some of the world's most-followed stories. History will find the news coming out of Arab countries during this time both gripping and plentiful. Less is known, however, of the news and information reaching Arab countries and communities during this period, and at times much has been speculated of, say, Twitter reliance in Tunisia, satellite TV dependence in Egypt, or tablet use in the highly connected Arab Gulf.
See the full article (Atlantic, Everette E. Dennis, Justin D. Martin and Robb Wood, 4/24/13)
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The Great Potential (and Challenges) of Citizen Videos Uncovering News
In the past few weeks, we've seen several videos from places that are often thought of as closed off or, simply, forgotten. When religious tensions in central Myanmar turned violent in late March, citizen videos helped alert the international media to the burning of Muslim villages and displacement of thousands of people. When a secessionist militia attacked a mining town in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a local reporter narrated the scene on his cell phone, filming dead bodies before running from the shooting.
See the full article (PBS, Madeleine Bair, 4/24/13)
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Web Censorship: The Net is Closing In
The majority of the world's internet users encounter some form of censorship - also known by the euphemism "filtering" - but what that actually looks like depends on a country's policies and its technological infrastructure. Across the globe governments are monitoring and censoring access to the web. And if we're not careful millions more people could find the internet fractured, fragmented and controlled by the state.
See the full article (Guardian, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, 4/23/13)
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Syrian Electronic Army Takes Credit for Hacking AP Twitter Account
The Syrian Electronic Army, a group of pro-Assad hackers that has been targeting major news organizations for months now, quickly took credit for [a] false tweet. The SEA defaced the homepages of Al Jazeera and Reuters last year, and more recently they've been targeting social media accounts in particular.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, J. Dana Stuster, 4/23/13) *Foreign Policy sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Google Execs Say 'The Power Of Information Is Underrated'
Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen - coauthors of a new book, The New Digital Age - recently returned from a highly publicized trip to North Korea. In the second part of their conversation with NPR's Audie Cornish, they discuss the role of the Internet in more repressive countries.
See the full article (NPR, 4/23/13)
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Al Qaeda Will Take Your Questions Now
It's not every day that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the terror group's North Africa affiliate, explains itself to the press. But that's just what happened last week, when media spokesman Ahmed Abu Abdulelah answered questions posed to the organization's Twitter account.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, David Kenner, 4/22/13) *Foreign Policy sign-up may be required to view the full article
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China Clamps Down on Media's Use of Micro-blogging Site
The Chinese authorities have issued instructions to the country's media outlets to stop posting foreign news reports without government permission. Evidently, the Beijing authorities suddenly realised that officially approved social media sites, such as Twitter-alike Sina Weibo, had enabled journalists to avoid press censorship.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 4/22/13)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"Interpreters in Afghanistan: Critical Partnerships for Long-term Stability" - Global
One of the many challenges associated with political development in Afghanistan is the difficult task of improving security. While U.S. and Coalition forces continue to work with their Afghan counterparts, interpreters play a critical role in ensuring effective communication between all sides. Yet, most interpreters confront severe threats on a daily basis while performing their work.
See the full video
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