USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace



Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, January 9 - 15, 2014

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

Featured Story from the USIP Foreign Policy Peace Channel

**Click here to subscribe to USIP's Science, Technology and Peacebuilding News Roundup.**

USIP's Media, Conflict, and Peacebuilding Roundup will now be merged with the Science and Technology Roundup. We’ve noticed that many of you subscribe to both Roundups and to make it more efficient for you, we have decided to proceed with one Roundup in a new format. You can look forward to this new design next Thursday, January 23rd.

Media and Journalism

Iran's Intelligence Minister Says No Need For Media To Cover Economic Corruption
Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmud Alavi says there is "no need" for media to publish details of cases of economic corruption. Alavi, who was speaking on January 14 to Iran's semiofficial Mehr news agency, added that the coverage of corruption cases by the media could hurt investment in the country.
See the full article (RFE/RL, 1/15/14)
[Return to top]

84 Cases of Violence Against Media Freedom Recorded in Afghanistan in 2013
The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) registered 84 cases of violence against media freedom during 2013 across the war-torn country, raising serious concerns about the safety of media representatives ahead of the April 2014 presidential vote and the international troops' pullout. AFJC documented these cases which include incidents of murder, injuries, physical and verbal abuse, death threats and closure of media outlets from January to December 2013.
See the full article (IFEX, 1/14/14)
[Return to top]

Pakistani Journalist Shot Dead on New Year's Day
For the last several years, Pakistan has been among the most dangerous places in the world for journalists because of targeted killings against them and impunity for the perpetrators of such crimes. As reported in the "Friday Times," deadly violence has already struck in 2014. On January 1 Shan Dahar, a reporter working with Abb Tak TV channel, was shot dead in Larkana, a city in the country's southeast Sindh province.
See the full article (RFE/RL, 1/14/14)
[Return to top]

Egyptian Media Lauds Referendum
Egypt's constitutional referendum is dominating the country's media, with most outlets urging voters not to miss the opportunity to "shape their political future". State-run TV Channel One and Nile News TVchannels urge citizens to go out and vote, while the privately-owned ONTV Live is highly critical of the Muslim Brotherhood, which supports a referendum boycott.
See the full article (BBC, 1/14/14)
[Return to top]

Major Newspapers Speak Out Against Iran Sanctions Bill
The editorial boards of multiple major newspapers have spoken out this week against a controversial Iran sanctions bill. The bill, backed by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), would penalize Iran if it violates terms of an interim nuclear deal or fails to reach a final agreement, and could push the U.S. toward war.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Joanna Zelman, 1/14/14)
[Return to top]

Pakistan's Press In Peril
Three years ago, 28-year-old journalist Wali Khan Babar was killed simply for doing his job in Pakistan. And his story is one of many in a country that, as documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists, has fostered a climate of impunity.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Alyona Minkovski, 1/13/14)
[Return to top]

Russia Expels US Journalist David Satter Without Explanation
Russia has expelled a US journalist living in Moscow for the first time since the cold war, in a move that is likely to strain relations with Washington on the eve of the Sochi Winter Olympics. David Satter – a distinguished former correspondent with the Financial Times and the author of three well-received books on Russia and the Soviet Union – was told on Christmas Day that he had been banned from the country.
See the full article (Guardian, Luke Harding, 1/13/14)
[Return to top]

Journalists Should Target Malawi's Election Issues, Not Personalities
Political reporters are learning how to focus their coverage of Malawi’s next national elections on issues of health, schools and roads that will affect voters in the rural areas of the country. Experienced journalists conducted a series of sessions on how to have more impact in their reporting of the coming political campaigns that will select the next president and members of parliament in elections scheduled for May, 2014.
See the full article (VOA, Lameck Masina, 1/13/14)
[Return to top]

International Media Demand That Egypt Release Detained Journalists
Dozens of international correspondents came together Monday to demand that Egypt release three journalists they say have been detained arbitrarily for two weeks. Egyptian authorities say the journalists held illegal meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was declared a terrorist group last month.
See the full article (CNN, Marie-Louise Gumuchian, 1/13/14)
[Return to top]

Authoritarian Regimes Retool Their Media-Control Strategy
With a surprise decree Dec. 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin shut down RIA Novosti, the massive, state-controlled news agency, and replaced it with an entity that will be overseen by Margarita Simonyan, the head of “RT,” Russia’s international propaganda arm, and Dmitry Kiselyov, an odious television presenter.
See the full article (Washington Post, Robert Orttung and Christopher Walker, 1/10/14)
[Return to top]


Internet and Social Media

Diplomacy 3.0 Starts in Stockholm
Digital diplomacy has been redefining itself since its inception. It has evolved from 140 characters to a myriad of opportunities embedded in the very nature of the digital era, from crowdsourcing to big data. While we have not yet outgrown Twitter and Facebook -- still key ingredients for any government's digital strategy -- foreign policy is fast moving towards more innovative ways to change its elitist undertones and become a truly participatory, collaborative forum.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Adreas Sandre, 1/15/14)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Palestinian Refugees Starving to Death in Syrian Camp, Human Rights Groups Say
A child sits in the dirt, the closed storefront behind him spray-painted with the words "I swear to God I am hungry." These are a few of the pictures activists have posted on social media pages from the Yarmouk Israeli-Palestinian refugee camp, just 6 miles from central Damascus. The first to die from starvation at the camp was 4-year old Abdelhay Youssef on November 2, activists say.
See the full article (BBC, Samira Said, 1/15/14)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Thailand Protests Are Captured in Social Media and Onstage
In the boldest move in two months of demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Bangkok’s central commercial district has been swarmed by antigovernment protesters, and on Tuesday, the second day of the so-called “shutdown” of the city and its consequences were widely tracked on social media. Along with noisy, whistle-blowing protesters at the gatherings, Bangkok residents and others using #BangkokShutdown shared images of an unusual sight: relatively empty streets as traffic was diverted, or as drivers simply kept away.
See the full article (NY Times, Christine Hauser, 1/14/14)*NY Times subscription may be required to access full story
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers
The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks. While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials.
See the full article (NY Times, David E Sanger and Thom Shanker, 1/14/14)*NY Times subscription may be required to access full story
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

The Net Neutrality Battle Has Been Lost
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals just issued its long-awaited decision striking down the FCC’s network neutrality rule. This is the second time in four years that this court struck down the FCC’s attempt to adopt a network neutrality rule. It is now legal for AT&T or Verizon to block Slate, your blog, or any other site.
See the full article (Slate, Marvin Ammori, 1/14/14)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

#BBCtrending: Things to Love About South Sudan
Ever since fighting began in South Sudan a month ago, social media has played an important role - as a source of practical information, sharing news, and as a kind of support network. It may sound unlikely in a country in the midst of fighting that has killed more than 1,000 people and displaced thousands more, but over the past three days there have been hundreds of tweets using the hashtag #ThingsIloveaboutSouthSudan - praising things like the food, local customs and the hospitality.
See the full article (BBC, 1/13/14)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Somalia, Shabaab in Internet War
The Somali government has called on telecommunication firms in the war-ravaged country to resist a threat by al-Shabaab to stop providing mobile phone internet 3G and renege on plans to launch high-speed internet services in the country. "Al-Shabaab has lost control of the major cities in Somalia and are now trying to terrorize people and stop them from using Internet," Somali Minister of Internal Security Abdikarim Hussein Guled said in a statement mailed to Anadolu Agency.
See the full article (World Bulletin, 1/12/14)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

U.S. Ambassador in Moscow Uses Social Media to Bypass Official Line
What’s a U.S. ambassador to do when he wants to get his message out in a country that enjoys making America look bad, has little patience for Western values and tightly controls the media? Call him @McFaul, the tweeting ambassador. For Ambassador Michael McFaul, the unfiltered communication offered by social media means he can tweet U.S. policy, blog it and post it on Facebook, an alternative to the mostly hostile traditional media here.
See the full article (Washington Post, Kathy Lally, 1/11/14)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Fury in Sri Lanka at U.S. Embassy Tweet on Killing of Tamils
The Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense expressed shock and anger on Friday at what it called a “baseless allegation” against the nation’s military in a photo caption posted on the official Twitter feed of the United States Embassy the day before. The photograph showed the American ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele J. Sison, and Stephen J. Rapp, the United States ambassador at large for war crimes issues, during a visit to the Tamil-dominated north of the country [The caption that enraged the ministry referred to the "killing of hundreds of families by army shelling" at the site that the US diplomats were pictured visiting.]
See the full article (NY Times, Robert Mackey, 1/10/14)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Featured Story from the USIP Foreign Policy Peace Channel

The Real eHarmony by Sheldon Himelfarb
As much as such incidents have evinced the violent power of the viral, last year also saw the emergence of a potential antidote: the exponential growth of "virtual exchanges" -- sustained, people-to-people educational programs that are carefully facilitated by trained staff and enabled by the explosion of connectivity.
See the full article
[Return to top]

USIP's Media, Conflict, and Peacebuilding Roundup will now be merged with the Science and Technology Roundup. We’ve noticed that many of you subscribe to both Roundups and to make it more efficient for you, we have decided to proceed with one Roundup in a new format. You can look forward to this new design next Thursday, January 23rd.

Click here to subscribe to USIP's Science, Technology and Peacebuilding News Roundup.

Did we miss anything?



Share this: FacebookTwitterDeliciousDiggMySpaceStumbleUponGoogleMicrosoftYahoo! BookmarksLinkedIn| Forward this to a Friend