USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


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Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, June 2 - 8, 2011

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

The End of the Media's Israel Fixation?
The Arab spring has had a remarkable effect on the media's appetite for Middle East news which doesn't revolve around Israel. Over the first three months of this year, correspondents usually engaged full time in counting Israeli bricks going down in the West Bank were dispatched to Tahrir Square and Tripoli, because something even bigger was happening.
See the full article (Guardian, Carmel Gould, 6/8/11)
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Female Journalists Face Sexual Threats Abroad, Report Says
The threat of sexual attack is frequently used as a weapon for silencing female journalists working abroad, according to a report released Tuesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The report, "The Silencing Crime: Sexual Violence and Journalists," was launched after CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was sexually assaulted by a mob when she was reporting in Cairo's Tahrir Square during the historic fall of Hosni Mubarak's government.
See the full article (Washington Post, Emily Wax, 6/7/11)
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Polish-Belarusian Journalist's Trial to Take Place Behind Closed Doors
A prominent Polish-Belarusian journalist charged with insulting Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka will go on trial next week behind closed doors, his wife has told RFE/RL's Belarus Service. Andrzej Poczobut, the Belarus correspondent for the Polish daily "Gazeta Wyborcza," was detained in April and charged with "insulting the personal dignity and honor of the president" in his newspaper articles and online comments.
See the full article (RFE/RL, 6/7/11)
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Libya Stokes Its Machine Generating Propaganda
The nightly propaganda tour to NATO bombing sites around the Libyan capital - the main component of every foreign reporter's routine in a city controlled by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi - led to a rustic backyard where a family had supposedly endured a narrow escape from a NATO missile. The nightly propaganda tour to NATO bombing sites around the Libyan capital - the main component of every foreign reporter's routine in a city controlled by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi - led to a rustic backyard in the predawn hours of Monday where a family with several small, frightened children, said to have been dining outside late into the night, had supposedly endured a narrow escape from a NATO missile.
See the full article (New York Times, John F. Burns, 6/6/11)*NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
Click to read "Conflict Assessment and Intelligence Analysis Commonality, Convergence, and Complementarity" a USIP Special Report by Lawrence Woocher.
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Bahrain Media Charge that U.S. Backs Regime's Overthrow
As Bahrain's reformist crown prince headed to Washington on Monday for top-level talks, official news media in the Gulf state stepped up a drumbeat of anti-American attacks, some even accusing of the U.S. administration of colluding with opposition leaders they claim are trying to overthrow the state. Al Wasat, the onetime opposition paper now under direct control of the Sunni minority government, carried an editorial that claimed that "American black fingers are aiming to weaken the Gulf" states so the U.S. can create its own "Greater Middle East."
See the full article (McClatchy Newspapers, Roy Gutman, 6/6/11)
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Jailed Iranian Journalist Beaten in Front of Relatives
A jailed Iranian journalist was briefly hospitalized after being severely beaten by a prison guard on June 2. The mother of journalist Masoud Bastani, 31, his wife, and mother-in-law witnessed the beating in the Rajaishahr prison in the city of Karaj. They say Bastani asked the guards if he could talk with his visiting relatives for a few minutes longer.
See the full article (RFE/RL, 6/3/11)
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Pakistan's War of Information
Last week Pakistani journalist and Asia Times bureau chief Saleem Shahzad published a story about an alleged Al-Qaeda infiltration in the Pakistani Navy, following an attack at a Navy base. Days later, Shahzad was found dead in a canal with marks of torture on his body and journalists in Pakistan are blaming the country's intelligence service, the ISI, for his murder. Freelance journalist Shahan Mufti says that Shahzad's killing is part of a larger war being waged in Pakistan.
See the full article (NPR, Brooke Gladstone and Shahan Mufti, 6/3/11)
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Dying to Cover the Drug War
Pedro Torres doesn't have the air of a man who stares down death on a daily basis. He is a mild mannered reporter during the day, and at night. But just showing up for work at El Diario newspaper in Juarez, one of the world's most dangerous journalism jobs, could be considered a heroic feat.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, Chris Arsenault, 6/2/11)
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Internet and Social Media

The West's Coming Internet War
On matters of Internet freedom, the Western world can't even begin to make up its mind, and its two biggest transnational institutions may soon fall into a complex, ideological struggle over people's rights to digital expression. Last Friday, the United Nations declared an audacious new right to the Internet in a long report.
See the full article (Atlantic, John Hendel, 6/7/11)
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A New Voice of America for the Age of Twitter
When Walter Isaacson championed Voice of America's decision to shut down its shortwave radio broadcasts to China - and shift those funds to the Internet, cellphones and other forms of digital media - he viewed it as the sensible updating of a propaganda playbook dating from the cold war.
See the full article (New York Times, Mark Landler, 6/7/11)*NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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After Hacking Accusations, China Calls Google a Political Tool
People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, openly criticized Google after the company said a recent Gmail phishing attack originated in China, Reuters reports. The attack originated from Jinan, China, and was pointed at, among others, Chinese political activists and senior U.S. government officials, Google said in a blog post.
See the full article (Mashable, Stan Schroeder, 6/6/11)
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WikiLeaks Chief Says No One Harmed by Site's Leaks
No one has come to harm as a result of WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of classified documents, the site's founder said Saturday, accusing his critics of opposing the revelations because of "middle-class squeamishness." Julian Assange told an audience at the Hay literary festival in Wales that "there are no official allegations in the public domain" of anyone being hurt by the secret-spilling site's disclosures.
See the full article (AP, Jill Lawless, 6/5/11)
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Syrian Internet Restored, Dramatic Footage Emerges
Internet intelligence firm Renesys reports that Syrian Internet services are now operational again. But these dramatic clips of Syrians rising up against their government, shot on June 2, were allegedly sent out of the country via satellite phone. Now, Google Transparency Report shows Syrian Internet traffic has resumed levels that are roughly the same as they were before the initial shutdown occurred.
See the full article (Mashable, Charlie White, 6/4/11)
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The eG8 and the Future of the Net
Last week, French president Nicholas Sarkozy invited a group of world leaders and technology executives to the first ever eG8, a forum to discuss the future of the internet and global public policy. It was an invitation-only summit that included Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. City University of New York Professor Jeff Jarvis, who attended the conference, says governments should not be trying to control the future of the internet.
See the full article (NPR, Brooke Gladstone and Jeff Jarvis, 6/3/11)
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Save the Planet on Your Phone: Five World-changing Apps
Due to a global financial crisis and some of the worst natural disasters the world has recently endured, people and technology are changing. Thanks to a number of activism-based platforms and digital tools created to enhance social consciousness, our antennas are up, and participating in social change is as easy as touching a few buttons on our phones.
See the full article (CBS, Melissa Jun Rowley, 6/3/11)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

Freddie's Story - Peace Direct Films
Freddie's story is the tale of a former child soldier in the Congo expressed by local peacebuilder Henri Ladyi.
Visit PeaceMedia
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