USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, June 14 - 20, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Iconic Images Of Protest: How Does Turkey's Standing Man Compare?
It's too early to tell whether the "standing man" protests will make a difference in the weeks-long challenge to the authority of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But singular actions, captured in images distributed around the world, have sometimes influenced the course of history and transformed obscure figures into symbols of their era.
See the full article (AP, Robert H. Reid, 6/19/13)
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Freedom of Speech in Ecuador: Stop Press!
He was a media darling before his inauguration in 2007, but President Rafael Correa's adversarial relationship with the press has counted among the defining characteristics of his six-year rule. On June 14th a legislature now dominated by his allies whisked through a bill to regulate the media. Many journalists fear it in fact spells censorship.
See the full article (Economist, S.K. Quito, 6/18/13)
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Ancient Afghan Poetry Form Adapts to Tell Story of Modern Life and Conflict
For centuries, Pashtun women have traded stories, feelings and life wisdom in the form of two-line oral poems called landays. Eliza Griswold, a journalist and poet herself, traveled to Afghanistan to learn more about daily life there through the modern exchange of poetry. Jeffrey Brown takes a closer look at Griswold's project.
See the full article (PBS Newshour, Jeffrey Brown and Eliza Griswold, 6/18/13)
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An Egyptian Journalist's Nightmare
In a long and distinguished career in Egyptian journalism, Yehia Ghanem has been a foreign correspondent and an editor for Al-Ahram, the country's most respected newspaper. But on June 4, after a protracted trial in which he and several dozen other Egyptians with connections to foreign nonprofit organizations were accused of receiving illegal payments from abroad, Ghanem was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison at hard labor.
See the full article (Atlantic, Peter Osnos, 6/18/13)
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Iraq Journalists Held for 'Stealing' Minister's Notepad
Iraqi press freedom activists on Saturday decried the detention for more than 10 days of two journalists accused of stealing the notebook of the country's defence minister following a meeting of political leaders.
See the full article (AFP, 6/16/13)
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Internet and Social Media

Nigeria Bans Satellite Phones in Islamist Battleground
Nigeria's military banned the use of Thuraya satellite phones on Wednesday in northeastern Borno state, a step it said was designed to stop Islamist militants communicating. President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno and two other states on May 14, ordering extra troops in to try to crush Islamist sect Boko Haram.
See the full article (Reuters, Lanre Ola and Tim Cocks, 6/19/13)
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Light Up the West Bank
When international businessmen cross into the West Bank, they take out their passports, turn off their now-lifeless smartphones, and change their mindset from investment to assistance; high-speed mobile Internet is all but nonexistent. Without 3G -- and the economic opportunities that come with it -- the territories will likely continue their slide toward militancy.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Alec Ross, 6/18/13)
Click to read "Will the Israeli Bombings in Syria Spark a Regional Crisis?," a USIP Article by Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen.
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Increased Cell Phone Coverage Tied to Uptick in African Violence
The increasing availability of cell phone coverage in Africa is contributing to an increase of violence on that continent, a recent study contends. "Utilizing novel, spatially disaggregated data on cell phone coverage and the location of organized violent events in Africa," the abstract reports, "we are able to show that the availability of cell phone coverage significantly and substantially increases the probability of violent conflict."
See the full article (The Register, Rik Myslewski, 6/18/13)
Click to read "Crisis in Mali: Root Causes and Long-Term Solutions," a USIP Peacebrief by Hannah Armstrong..
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Turkey Vows to Attack Social Media, Strengthen Police
Turkey's government is working on legislation to restrict the use of Twitter and other social media, blamed for the worst unrest the country has experienced in decades. The Turkish justice ministry is putting together a bill on Internet crime, which will also include sections on social media, according to local media.
See the full article (USA Today, Victor Kotsev, 6/18/13)
Click to read "Social Media Reporting and the Syrian Civil War," a USIP Peacebrief by Anand Varghese.
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4 Years of Digital Diplomacy and Change
There is a quiet sea change happening in the Middle East. The 2013 Iranian Election will mark the end of one cycle, and the beginning of another. The cycle ending is the cycle of the first few revolutions/civil wars and government overthrows that happened in full view of, and in part due to social media. The one beginning is going to become the post-social media middle east.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Alan W. Silberberg, 6/17/13)
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China Asks U.S. to Explain Internet Surveillance
China made its first substantive comments on Monday to reports of U.S. surveillance of the Internet, demanding that Washington explain its monitoring programs to the international community.
See the full article (Reuters, Michael Martina and Terril Yue Jones, 6/17/13)
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Concerns Over Online Qur'an Teaching as Ex-Pakistan Militants Instruct Pupils
With his track record as a member of the political arm of a banned terrorist organisation, Mian Shahzib is unlikely to ever be given a visa to enter Britain. But that does not stop the jovial 33-year-old from giving British children religious instruction every day from the comfort of his home in Pakistan.
See the full article (Guardian, Jon Boone, 6/17/13)
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Are We All Digital Diplomats?
Last week, the Diplomatic Courier hosted an impressively broad-ranging panel discuss[ing] the future of digital diplomacy from the perspective of top ranking diplomats. The conclusion? You don't have to be a government to have international impact. Social media has given everyone a voice.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Jean Newman Glock and Ann Tran, 6/16/13)
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MoD: Internet Should be Prepared for 'Militarisation'
A new report on potential scenarios of cyber-conflict, The Global Cyber-Game, says it is inevitable that the internet will be "militarised" -- used to serve the needs of military conflict between nations -- and that ICT will increasingly be both an important means and a target of such conflict.
See the full article (Computerworld UK, Stephen Bell, 6/14/13)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"Confidentiality in Mediation" - Crisis Management Initiative
Mediators should always strive for transparency and, at the same time, maintain high standards of confidentiality. In this video, mediation experts discuss the challenging task of managing information during negotiation processes. In other words, how can mediators adhere to the principles of transparency without risking confidentiality?
See the full video
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