USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, October 27 - November 2, 2011

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Journalist Group Fears for Syrian Media Writers
The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says it fears for several journalists and bloggers in Syria who have vanished, with no response from authorities as to their fate. Lina Ibrahim, a 31-year-old business reporter for the state-owned daily Tishreen, has been missing for six days. Freelance journalist Wael Yusef Abaza also disappeared on October 25 in Damascus, the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression reported.
See the full article (AFP, 11/2/11)
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Arab Spring Reshapes Market for TV News
As revolutions upend the political landscape across the Arab world, the news media landscape is shifting, too. The market for Arabic-language television news, dominated for years by two satellite channels with close links to Arab rulers, is poised for a shot of new competition with the pending introduction of two 24-hour news channels backed by Western media conglomerates.
See the full article (New York Times, Eric Pfanner, 10/30/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Trooper Describes Jihadist Materials Found in Home of Mass. Man Accused of Helping al-Qaida
During a secret search of the home of a Massachusetts man now charged with conspiring to help al-Qaida, authorities found videos depicting violent jihad and an interview with Osama bin Laden in which he says "the battle has moved to inside America," a state trooper testified Friday. [Trooper Thomas] Sarrouf said authorities also found an interview with bin Laden conducted by a correspondent for the Arabic news network Al-Jazeera.
See the full article (AP, 10/28/11)
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Covering the Withdrawal from Iraq
Covering the run-up to the Iraq War was not the American press's finest moment. There won't be nearly as much attention to the withdrawal as there was to the invasion, but covering the withdrawal well might give the public a better sense of Iraq's future without American soldiers and what lessons to draw from the war. Bob spoke with Liz Sly, Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post who has covered Iraq for the better part of eight years.
See the full article (NPR, 10/28/11)
Click to read "The Iraq Federal Police," a USIP Special Report by Robert M. Perito.
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The Muslim Brotherhood, Richard Nixon, and the Fear of Crime
Over the summer and into the fall, youth members of the Brotherhood have been building a collection of short films called Ikhwan Cinema. In each, a kitschy portrayal of Egyptian society teaches a moral lesson. The Muslim Brotherhood, instead of debating who is responsible for violence and instability in Egypt, are attempting to stake out a claim as moral leaders, taking the example of American conservative leaders who blamed moral decay for crime and called upon citizens to fight the shadowy enemy of violence.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Maurice Chammah, 10/27/11)
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Internet and Social Media

Kenya Issues Attack Warning Over Twitter
Kenya's military spokesman has given warning, over the social media website Twitter, that the residents of 10 towns in Somalia, including the port city of Kismayu, the central town of Baidoa and Afgoye near Mogadishu, that they will come under continuous military attack. The Kenyan military said that it will attack 10 Somali towns where it believes al-Shabab has a presence and advised civilians to stay away from al-Shabab camps.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, 11/1/11)
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Biden Calls on World Governments to Back Open Internet
Speaking by video link in Washington to [the London Conference on Cyberspace], Biden said the United States was betting that an open Internet will lead to a "stronger, more prosperous life" for all people. While Western governments have expressed concern about intellectual-property theft and computer hacking over the Internet, governments such as China and Russia are alarmed at the role the Internet and social media have played in the protests that swept the Arab world this year.
See the full article (RFE/RL, 11/1/11)
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Twitter Stories Show Social Media's Impact
On Tuesday, [Twitter] launched a new site, "Twitter Stories," to share a handful of stunning ways that the micro-blogging service has made a positive impact on people's lives. The stories range from the heartwarming story of a son who saved his mother's bookstore with a tweet, to the bone-chilling tale of a man who relied on Twitter for help when snipers entered his backyard in Tunisia.
See the full article (Washington Post, Hayley Tsukayama, 11/1/11)
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US Firm Confirms Web Censoring Tools Used in Syria
Northern California-based Blue Coat Systems told AFP that Internet filtering equipment sold to Iraq's communications ministry has mysteriously been put to use in Syria but insisted it did not know how the equipment changed hands. Paperwork marking the chain of custody gave the impression the Internet filtering gear had been delivered to the intended customer, according to the company.
See the full article (AFP, 10/29/11)
Click to read "Syrian Uprising: Looking In, Looking Out," a USIP Peace Brief by Amr al-Azm.
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Iran Cyber Police Cite U.S. Threat
An Iranian police unit that was formed this year to counter alleged Internet crimes is playing a key role in an escalating online conflict between the United States and the Islamic Republic. Iranian officials say they must control which sites Iranians are able to visit, to prevent spying and protect the public from "immoral" material.
See the full article (Washington Post, Thomas Erdbrink, 10/29/11)
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Egyptian Prisoner Tortured to Death, Activists Say
Rights activists and protesters paraded through Cairo's streets on Friday bearing the coffin of a young man they said had been tortured to death in a maximum security prison. Essam Atta, 24, was killed Thursday after he was caught with a cellphone, relatives said. Now a picture of Atta's corpse is circulating on social networking sites, and activists are calling for an investigation.
See the full article (Washington Post, Ingy Hassieb, 10/28/11)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Police Corruption: What Past Scandals Teach us about Current Challenges" on November 16 at 9:30am.
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Upset by Possible Internet Control, Nigeria Hackers Take Down Anti-corruption Agency Website
A group of hackers calling themselves NaijaCyberHacktivists claimed the attack Friday on [Nigeria's] Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's site, which saw its usual home page replaced with a warning from the group. The hackers said the attack was a response to suggestions that the government censors Internet content.
See the full article (AP, 10/28/11)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

The Secret World of Child Brides - Pulitzer Center
Every year, throughout the world, millions of young girls are forced into marriage. Child marriage is outlawed in many countries and international agreements forbid the practice yet this tradition still spans continents, language, religion and caste. Over an eight-year period, photographer Stephanie Sinclair has investigated the phenomenon of child marriage in India, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nepal and Ethiopia. Her multimedia presentation, produced in association with National Geographic, synthesizes this body of work into a call to action.
See the full video
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