USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace



Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, October 31 - November 6, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Iranian Newspaper Runs Fake Radio Farda Terrorist Interview
An Iranian daily has published an interview with an extremist group accused of carrying out a recent terrorist attack, claiming that the interview was conducted by RFE/RL's Radio Farda. The daily "Vatan-e Emruz" published the interview in its November 3 issue under the headline "America Supports The Saravan Crime." Radio Farda has categorically denied conducting the interview.
See the full article (RFE/RL, 11/6/13)
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Iran Minister Calls for Access to Social Networks
Iran's Culture Minister, Ali Jannati, has said that social networks should be made accessible to ordinary Iranians. Mr Jannati was quoted by the Iran state news agency as singling Facebook out for special mention, saying it should be available for everyone. Such sites were blocked in 2009, when millions protested against the result of a disputed presidential election.
See the full article (BBC, 11/5/13)
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Iran's Closure of Reformist Newspaper Raises Concerns About Press Freedom
The shutdown of a reformist daily last week has led some Iranian journalists to question how committed the administration of new president Hassan Rouhani is to greater freedom for a long-fettered press. This past Monday, Alaeddin Zohourian, chairman of the state media supervision council, announced that the Bahar newspaper “has been suspended and its dossier has been referred to the judiciary for an inquest.”
See the full article (Guardian 11/4/13)
Click to read "New Iran Diplomacy Heightens Pressure from Opponents" an Olive Branch Post by Viola Gienger.
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Is Peace Journalism Worth Considering?
Australian journalist and scholar Jake Lynch and his colleague Annabel McGoldrick are known for their practical approach to ‘peace journalism’, looking at improving the way broadcasters report on issues, particularly conflict. They have recently conducted an experiment, including South Africa, in which a television news item was re-recorded, with the same presenters telling the story in a different way, and with different sources.
See the full article (Media Online, Wadim Schreiner, 11/1/13)
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Intimidating Pakistan’s Press
The Shura-e-Mujahedeen, a group affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban, recently reissued a year-old fatwa describing Pakistani journalists and media outlets as “enemies of the mujahedeen.” The decree threatened several radio stations and included photographs of the popular political talk show hosts Hamid Mir and Hasan Nisar, accusing them of promoting secular and Western values and spreading anti-Muslim propaganda.
See the full article (New York Times, Huma Yusuf, 10/31/13) *NYT subscription may be required to read full story
Click to read "ASAP – Not a Moment Too Soon for Afghanistan" an Olive Branch Post by Scott Smith.
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After Reforms Ethnic Media Emerge in Burma, but Challenges Remain
Since Burma’s government lifted long-standing media restrictions early this year, several independent news publications have been set up that intend to serve populations in ethnic regions. These pioneering publishers say, however, that they face many challenges.
See the full article (Irrawaddy, San Yamin Aung, 10/31/13)
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Internet and Social Media

Joseph Kony - The Adventure Show
Journalist, author of the book The World's Most Dangerous Places and rugged man's man Robert Pelton, has taken it upon himself to find Kony – with your (financial) support. Pelton is raising money on a crowd-sourcing platform for Dangerous, a "multi-media real world participatory platform" that seeks to not only deliver excitement to audiences – but also to deliver solutions.
See the full article (Guardian, Corinna Jentzsch, 11/6/13)
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Mobile Survey Platform GeoPoll Raises $6.6M Series A To Reach People In Developing Countries
Smartphones have become so commonplace in developed countries that it can be hard to imagine life without them. But the worldwide Internet penetration rate is just 39%, according to the International Telecommunication Union, and in Africa, only 16% of people are online. Mobile-cellular penetration rates are 89% in developing countries, however, with many people relying on their phones for online access. As more organizations use Internet surveys to conduct research into subjects ranging from product preferences to human rights, GeoPoll‘s platform seeks to help them to reach people on feature phones or even more basic devices.
See the full article (TechCrunch, Catherine Shu 11/6/13)
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Uncensored Instagrams From North Korea Buck Brutal Trend of Secrecy
When Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder first went to North Korea in 2000, he was plunged into the dark—he had to leave his phone at customs, and his hotel windows were covered with black plastic. In January it allowed foreigners to carry phones; in February it activated a 3G network for visitors. As the AP’s chief photographer for Asia, Guttenfelder now sends out images from the Pyongyang bureau and posts daily to Instagram. In a country without the Internet, a reporter with social media is king, so we asked Guttenfelder for his report from inside.
See the full article (Wired, David Guttenfelder, 11/4/13)
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Vietnam's Insane Ban on Sharing News Online
To say Vietnam has a troubled relationship with the Internet would be an understatement. Despite government efforts to repress it, social media, especially Facebook, is immensely popular in Vietnam, with an estimated 70 percent penetration of the total Internet-using population.
See the full article (Slate, Ariel Bogle, 11/1/13)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"Friendship Games to bring Haitian and Dominican youth together" - UNICEF
UNICEF's Thomas Nybo reports on a 'friendship games' sporting event organized in 2011 to bridge the divide between Haitian and Dominican youth.
See the full video
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