USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace

Center of Innovation for Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, January 20 - 26, 2011

Media and Journalism

Turmoil in the Arab World: Tunisia and Egypt

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

Media and Journalism

Iraqi Journalists Face Sacks of Gold, Fists of Fire
Iraqi journalists who have survived deadly threats through years of war and insurgency now face a new challenge -- whether to accept cash "bonuses" from the government, and even cheap flats and free land. The $1,000 bonus scheme was first proposed in 2007 but is only now being paid.
See the full article (Reuters, Khalid al-Ansary, 1/26/11)
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Tunisia Shuts Down Popular TV Channel
Tunisia's interim government abruptly shut down the country's oldest and most popular private television network on Sunday evening, in an apparent violation of its pledges to respect freedom of expression after the ouster of the authoritarian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. The state news agency said the government had arrested the network's owner and stopped its broadcast for "grand treason."
See the full article (New York Times, David D. Kirkpatrick, 1/23/11) ‭*‬NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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China State Visit to US: Chinese Media Downplay Human Rights Talk
Chinese state media have lauded Hu Jintao's trip to Washington but downplayed remarks on human rights that led reports elsewhere in the world. Headlines in China today hailed "a new chapter in relations" and even "a historic masterstroke of China-US diplomacy". The state broadcaster CCTV focused on the welcoming ceremony and trade agreements, not mentioning human rights in reports seen by the Guardian.
See the full article (Guardian, Tania Branigan, 1/20/11)
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Khalid Sheik Mohammed Killed U.S. Journalist Daniel Pearl, Report Finds
A recently completed investigation of the killing of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan nine years ago makes public new evidence that a senior al-Qaeda operative executed the Wall Street Journal reporter. According to the new report, which was prepared by faculty members and students at Georgetown University, U.S. officials have concluded that vascular technology, or vein matching, shows that the hand of the unseen man who killed Pearl on video is that of Mohammed.
See the full article (Washington Post, Peter Finn, 1/20/11)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "The Future of Pakistan" on January 31 at 12:00pm. You can also watch the live webcast!
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Turmoil in the Arab World: Tunisia and Egypt

Facebook Reported Inaccessible in Egypt
A website that monitors Internet traffic was receiving reports Wednesday that Facebook was inaccessible in Egypt, a day after Twitter was blocked amid anti-government unrest. Twitter confirmed late Tuesday that its website had been blocked in Egypt, in an apparent move to thwart protesters using the social network in the campaign against Mubarak. Twitter and Facebook were among Internet social networking services reportedly being used by protesters to share information and coordinate activities. The website listed two reports of being inaccessible in Egypt.
See the full article (AFP, 1/26/11)
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Twitter Site Blocked in Egypt: Harvard's Herdict
Egyptians say the Twitter Web site is blocked on all Internet Service Providers in their country, a representative of Harvard University's Herdict Web monitoring service told Reuters on Tuesday. But Twitter users within Egypt are currently sending Tweets, short 140-character messages, via SMS text messages and through third-party applications, the center said as thousands of Egyptians took to the streets to protest President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.
See the full article (Reuters, 1/25/11)
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The Inside Story of How Facebook Responded to Tunisian Hacks
The videos [uploaded to Facebook] created a link between what was happening on the streets in the poor areas of the country and the broader Tunisian population. Those videos, and the actions they recorded, became the raw material for a much greater online apparatus that could amplify each injury, death, and protest. For activists as well as everyday people, Facebook became an indispensable resource for tracking the minute-by-minute development of the situation.
See the full article (The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal, 1/24/11)
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Yet Another Facebook Revolution: Why Are We so Surprised?
"At first, [the Zine al-Albidine Ben Ali regime's] traditional reflexes operated. Newspapers were disrupted and journalists detained. Then the authorities realised that the printed press was a nuisance but not the real problem: they went after the bloggers and the web." On this analysis [by journalism professor George Brock], the regime's mistake was to ignore Facebook.
See the full article (Guardian, John Naughton, 1/23/11)
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Tunisia's Inner Workings Emerge on Twitter
Tunisia's interim government was holding its first meeting since the ouster of the dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. And then came the first policy dispute with the holdover members of the old ruling party, known as the R.C.D.: they objected that the new minister of youth and sports, the dissident blogger Slim Amamou, was not wearing a tie.
See the full article (New York Times, David D. Kirkpatrick, 1/22/11) ‭*‬NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Internet and Social Media

Slap for Nepal Politician Sparks Internet Campaign
A Nepalese man who slapped a politician in frustration at the lack of progress in the troubled country has sparked a popular Internet support campaign after striking a chord with fellow citizens. One posting on a Facebook page set up in Regmi's honour said he had "acted for 30 million Nepalese" when he struck UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal, who stood for election as prime minister last year.
See the full article (AFP, 1/25/11)
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Documents Open a Door on Mideast Peace Talks
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks over the past 17 years have operated at two levels, one public, the other behind closed doors. Internal Palestinian documents leaked to Al Jazeera and published this week illustrate that dichotomy. The public Palestinian posture is that every inch of East Jerusalem that was taken must be yielded. In reality, Palestinian officials have acknowledged that much would stay part of Israel in exchange for land swaps elsewhere.
See the full article (New York Times, Ethan Bronner, 1/24/11) ‭*‬NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Al-Jazeera Releases Papers Claiming Palestinian Concessions to Israel
Palestinian negotiators were willing in 2008 to concede sections of East Jerusalem to Israeli control as part of a final peace deal, according to a newly exposed cache of memos that al-Jazeera TV said came from the talks. Minutes detailing the concession came from a meeting in Jerusalem in June 2008 between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators. The document is one of more than 1,600 that al-Jazeera's English-language Web site is calling the Palestine Papers, which it plans to post, WikiLeaks-style, over the next several days.
See the full article (Washington Post, Janine Zacharia, 1/24/11)
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Palestinian Official Attacks Al-Jazeera Over Leaked Documents
A top Palestinian official lashed out Monday at Al-Jazeera, accusing the Arabic TV network of launching a "smear campaign" with the release of alleged secret documents detailing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. "What happened is a manipulation of the documents and a misrepresentation of the facts and a true distortion, just for mockery and defiance," Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Abed Rabbo told reporters.
See the full article (CNN, 1/24/11)
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US Diplomacy Embracing Twitter Amid Global Crises
The State Department is tightening its embrace of Twitter and other social media as crises grip the Middle East and Haiti, with officials finding new voice, cheek and influence in the era of digital diplomacy. Even as it struggles to contain damage caused by WikiLeaks' release of classified internal documents, the department is reaching out across the Internet.
See the full article (AP, Matthew Lee, 1/23/11)
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WikiLeaks: 1 Percent of Diplomatic Docs Published
Nearly two months after WikiLeaks outraged the U.S. government by launching the release of a massive compendium of diplomatic documents, the secret-spilling website has published 2,658 U.S. State Department cables - just over 1 percent of its trove of 251,287 documents.
See the full article (AP, 1/23/11)
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War of the Future: Brian Moore's WWIII Propaganda Posters
Inspired by the 2009 Iran election protest and activism and censorship therein, these third world war propaganda posters were conceived by Milwaukee-born designer Brian Moore. They are a playful statement on wartime, citizen journalism, censorship, and the advent of the Internet.
See the full article (Guardian, 1/22/11)
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Long Live Wiki-diplomacy
Since the WikiLeaks scandal exploded at the end of last year, many commentators have declared this episode marks "the end of diplomacy." Nonsense. No doubt the mass media and internet have forced diplomats to be quicker on their feet, both in terms of collecting and analyzing information from abroad and analyzing it for policymakers. But that doesn't mean diplomacy is dying. Instead, it is adapting as it always has.
See the full article (CNN, Parag Khanna, 1/20/11)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"Blood in the Mobile" - Frank Poulsen
A preview for "Blood in the Mobile," which is competing at the International Documentary Film Festival. For the film, Frank Poulsen gained access to one the Congo's most infamous mines, Bisie, to chronicle the illegal mineral trade that has for years contributed to the violence that plagues the eastern region. What he found was "almost beyond description," Poulsen said. Boys as young as 10 are forced to work in the mines because their smaller bodies are able to fit in the tiny tunnels and crevices where the minerals are found.
Visit PeaceMedia
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