USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, July 18 - 24, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Al-Jazeera Accuses Egypt of Intimidation against Staff
Al-Jazeera has accused the Egyptian authorities of a sustained campaign of intimidation against its staff, rejecting charges of pro-Islamist bias in its reporting on the crisis in Egypt. Hours after Egypt's military ousted President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July, security forces raided the Cairo offices of al-Jazeera's Egyptian news channel, which military sources accused at the time of broadcasting "incitement".
See the full article (Guardian, 7/23/13)
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Turkey's Main Opposition Leader Lambastes PM over Media Freedom
Turkey's main opposition leader accused Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday of cowing local media into self-censorship after a journalist group said dozens of reporters were fired for their coverage of anti-government protests. The Turkish Journalists Union (TGS) said at least 72 journalists had either been fired, forced to take leave or had resigned in the past six weeks since the start of the unrest, which spread to cities around the country.
See the full article (Reuters, Jonathon Burch, 7/23/13)
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Abdulelah Haider Shaye, Yemeni Journalist, Freed From Prison
Abdulelah Haider Shaye, a Yemeni journalist, is free from the prison where he has been held for the past three years. His imprisonment has been blamed on President Obama, who personally intervened in early 2011 when it seemed that then-Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh was going to pardon Shaye.
See the full article (Huffington Post, 7/23/13)
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Zambian Press Freedom Crisis - Journalists Arrested and Websites Blocked
The Zambian government has stepped up its harassment of independent media outlets by arresting journalists and jamming two news websites. In a country where the state already exercises control over most media, the authorities have blocked domestic access to Zambian Watchdog, and Zambia Reports.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 7/19/13)
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In Turkey, Media Bosses Are Undermining Democracy
The protests that convulsed Istanbul and other Turkish cities last month exposed, among many other things, the shameful role of Turkey’s media conglomerates in subverting press freedom. As the social unrest reached a peak on May 31, the lack of even minimal coverage by seemingly professional private news channels presented the residents of Istanbul’s upscale neighborhoods near Taksim Square with a moment of truth.
See the full article (New York Times, Yavuz Baydar, 7/19/13)*NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Afghan Journalists Place Hope in 2014 Elections
I'm in Kabul for several days, making the rounds of journalists' organizations and media houses. My brief is to see what, if anything, can be done to protect journalists after the withdrawal of NATO troops during and after 2014. But "post-2014" has much different connotations for the Afghans with whom I've spoken.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Bob Dietz, 7/18/13)
Click to read "Afghan Parliament Steps Up; Where is the Opposition?" an Olive Branch Post by Scott Smith.
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UN Security Council Holds Open Debate on Protecting Journalists
The UN Security Council held an open debate yesterday regarding the protection of journalists in conflict zones, amid an escalation in attacks against journalists around the world. Speakers from more than 30 countries were joined by journalists in discussing the issue, with the majority stressing the need for greater protection and a truer delineation of what makes a professional journalist.
See the full article (, Alastair Reid, 7/18/13)
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Internet and Social Media

Sufi Page Yet Another Website That Iran Really Doesn't Like
There are websites that Iran really doesn't like. Those are blocked, and the people behind them are often punished. Among them is the Sufi website "Majzooban-e Noor," which covers news about the Nematollahi Gonabadi dervishes in Iran. The group, considered the largest Sufi order in the country, has come under increasing state pressure in recent years.
See the full article (RFE/RL, Golnaz Esfandiari, 7/24/13)
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Iranian Mobile Provider Under Fire For Insulting Sunnis
A text message has landed one of Iran's largest mobile providers in legal trouble after it was indicted for insulting a caliph revered by Sunni Muslims. A prosecutor from Sistan and Baluchistan Province, an impoverished area that is home to a large Sunni community, last week filed charges against Irancell in the wake of protests over a quiz question sent to the company's subscribers.
See the full article (RFE/RL, Golnaz Esfandiari, 7/23/13)
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Attacks in Cyberspace are Capable of Influencing Global Politics
Syria's ongoing civil war has unexpectedly given rise to one of the most high-profile hacking groups to date, proven capable of influencing global politics. The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) – which aims to spread counter-revolutionary propaganda and hit back at news outlets it says present biased reports of the conflict that began in March 2011 – has duped numerous Western media outlets into handing over the electronic keys to their Facebook, Twitter and other accounts.
See the full article (Guardian, Jarno Limnéll, 7/22/13)
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Cuban Dissidents Harness Blogs, Social Media to Spread Cause Globally
For the past half dozen years, dissidents such as Yoani Sanchez and her blog “Generation Y” have opened the political debate like no other time since the Castros came to power in Cuba. But Cuba’s dissident movement has deep roots, with many working in relative obscurity for decades. That’s all changing with modern technology.
See the full article (PBS, Curt Devine, 7/22/13)
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Math Behind Leak Crackdown: 153 Cases, 4 Years, 0 Indictments
The Obama administration has done its best to define the consequences [of leaking national security secrets], with an aggressive focus on leaks and leakers that has led to more than twice as many prosecutions as there were in all previous administrations combined.
See the full article (New York Times, Sharon LaFraniere, 7/20/13)*NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Rieder: Manning Ruling Bad News for Journalists
In its overzealous pursuit of those who leak classified information, the Obama administration went way too far when it charged Army Pfc. Bradley Manning with "aiding the enemy." On Thursday, a way-too-literal military judge refused to throw out the charge. That's bad news for journalists and the American public as well as Manning.
See the full article (USA Today, Ram Rieder, 7/19/13)
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Internet Censorship Is Taking Root in Southeast Asia
Forty-six bloggers and democracy activists have been imprisoned so far this year in Vietnam — more than the whole of 2012 — amid a vicious crackdown. The intolerance is mirrored across Southeast Asia as regimes attempt to stem brewing dissent.
See the full article (TIME, Charlie Campbell, 7/18/13)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"What is Peace Journalism?"
An interview with Joscelyn Jurich, freelance journalist, on the key concepts of peace journalism and its relevancy in conventional news media today.
See the full video
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