USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, January 5 - 11, 2011

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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

Media and Journalism

Syria Unrest: French Journalist Gilles Jacquier Killed
French TV reporter Gilles Jacquier has been killed in the Syrian city of Homs, the first Western journalist to die in the country's current unrest. He was on a government-authorised trip to the city, the France 2 channel said. Syrian TV said Jacquier was among eight killed. A colleague said that minutes earlier they had interviewed some people at a pro-government gathering.
See the full article (BBC, 1/11/12)
[Return to top]

CNN: Social Media Is No Substitute for Journalism
The social media phenomenon is said to have played a major role in historical uprisings last year. It is credited for helping to set off the Arab Spring, or Arab Awakening, as the wave of protests that started in Tunisia, before spreading to Egypt and Libya, is known. How did one of the world's most well-known broadcasters handle the social media revolution in 2011? Fienie Grobler spoke to Tony Maddox, the executive vice president and managing director of CNN International.
See the full article (The Media Online, Fienie Grobler, 1/11/12)
[Return to top]

Egypt Media Flourish Amid Fears
On the morning of February of 12th, the Egyptian national newspaper and the publication with the widest distribution in the Arab world, Al-Ahram, ran a headline over its banner declaring "The People have Toppled the Regime." In a last-gasp attempt by the authorities to undermine the massive uprisings, all government media including the radio and television service, which employs over 40,000 persons, were replete with misinformation, disinformation, incitement, and fear-mongering.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Adel Iskandar, 1/10/12)
[Return to top]

The Rial Drops, and Iran Blocks the News
Last week, the rial fell to its lowest value against the dollar in the past two decades. Meanwhile, Tehran has done what it knows best: censoring and disrupting the free flow of information., a website that provides up-to-the-minute rates for foreign currency and gold, was blocked in Iran last week. On top of that, according to the "Shargh" daily and other Iranian news sources, all text messages containing the word "dollar" in Persian were also being blocked.
See the full article (RFE/RL, Golnaz Esfandiari, 1/9/12)
[Return to top]

BBC Radio Among 10 Switched Off in Police Mast Crackdown
At least 10 radio stations, including BBC Radio and Radio France International, have been taken off the air by the police in an on-going crackdown over the alleged illegal use of equipment and facilities belonging to state broadcaster, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC). Detectives are also understood to have switched off Kenya-based Citizen Television and three internet service providers for reported illegal connection to UBC power supplies.
See the full article (Daily Monitor, Richard Wanambwa and Emmanuel Gyezaho, 1/9/12)
[Return to top]

Al-Qaeda Delivers Magazine to Homes in Pak to Preach Jihad
Al-Qaeda continues to preach jihad or holy war through an Urdu monthly magazine that is delivered to homes in cities across Pakistan by post. The 200-page magazine, Hiteen, is named after the battlefield where Sultan Salahuddin Ayubi defeated the Crusaders and features articles that preach jihad and praise Osama bin Laden.
See the full article (CNN, 1/9/12)
[Return to top]

In a Fledgling Country, Perils for the Press
It was hours to deadline for The Citizen, until recently the only daily print newspaper in South Sudan, and its staff had to wait until the generator was refueled. Making a newspaper anywhere these days is not easy; making a daily newspaper in South Sudan can seem nearly impossible. And yet since its founding in 2005 The Citizen hasn't let down its readers a single day. But now the paper faces another challenge in the form of a new military leadership.
See the full article (New York Times, Benno Mulcher, 1/8/12) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
Click to read "Media and Peacebuilding: Trends in 2011 and Looking Ahead to 2012" a USIP On the Issues by Sheldon Himelfarb.
[Return to top]

NKorean TV Shows Young Kim Threatening War in 2009
North Korea's new leader vowed in 2009 to wage war if the country's enemies shot down its long-range rocket, footage aired on state television showed Sunday. The documentary is the second in a week seeking to highlight Kim Jong Un's experience in leading North Korea's 1.2 million-strong military and was aimed at showing that he was in charge of the armed forces long before his father, former leader Kim Jong Il, died of a heart attack last month.
See the full article (Sydney Morning Herald, Hyung-Jin Kim, 1/8/12)
[Return to top]

Smear in Russia Backfires, and Online Tributes Roll In
[A photograph] showing [opposition activist Aleksei] Navalny with a man wanted by the police in Russia, the exiled financier Boris A. Berezovsky, appeared in a newspaper distributed on Saturday by a pro-Kremlin group in the major provincial city of Yekaterinburg, according to residents. The caption said that Mr. Navalny "never kept secret" his ties to Mr. Berezovsky. Mr. Navalny said it was a fake, and his assertion was supported when the original, unaltered photograph appeared on Russian Web sites.
See the full article (New York Times, Andrew E. Kramer, 1/8/12) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
[Return to top]

Iraq Turns Justice Into a Show, and Terror Confessions a Script
Over the objections of Western diplomats and human rights workers, Iraq's security forces are increasingly taking to the airwaves with dramatic demonstrations of how they are cracking down on terrorism, using detainees - mostly Sunni men - as backdrops for speeches and broadcasting confessions on state-run television.
See the full article (New York Times, Jack Healy, 1/7/12) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Salam Shabab Premiere: Next Generation Peacebuilding and the Arab Spring" on January 25 at 4:00pm.
[Return to top]

In Pakistan, a News Media Minefield
The deaths of Pakistani journalists are a marker of a complex news media landscape, where reporters say that while the media is technically free, they constantly operate in grey areas, self-censoring themselves in many cases. Further, an analysis of the intricate, nuanced reality of news reporting in Pakistan reveals a landscape shaped by the strong strands of nationalism and conservatism that run through the country, as well as the economics of what has become a multi-billion dollar industry.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, Asad Hashim, 1/5/12)
[Return to top]

Syrian Media Awaken Despite Clampdown
Throughout a nine-month-long uprising, Syrian authorities have exerted ever-tighter control over the media, routinely censoring and detaining reporters, bloggers and photojournalists. But despite the risks, a flurry of new outlets has emerged to tell stories suppressed by President Bashar al-Assad's government.
See the full article (Washington Post, Alice Fordham, 1/5/12)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "A Year of Turmoil: The Arab Awakening and the Path Ahead" on January 18 at 7:30am.
[Return to top]


Internet and Social Media

Study: Online Terror Mostly in Social Media
Prof. Gabriel Weimann, of the University of Haifa's Communications Department, found that 90 percent of organized terrorism on the Internet is occurring on social media websites. "By using these tools, the organizations are able to be active in recruiting new friends without geographical limitations," Weimann said Monday. Facebook, chat rooms, YouTube, and other sites that have been key to the Internet's evolution are also being utilized by Islamist radicals, he found.
See the full article (Jerusalem Post, Yaakov Lappin, 1/10/12)
[Return to top]

State's First Twitter Press Conference Angers Sudan Activists
The State Department tried something new last Friday, answering selected questions posed via Twitter. Today, a Sudan human rights organization that was one of the selected questioners called the answer it got on Sudan policy "unconvincing." The Obama administration may be experimenting with unique ways to engage with the world through this Twitter press conference, but as this latest scuffle shows, social media remains a two-way street.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Josh Rogin, 1/9/12)
[Return to top]

Al Jazeera, Ushahidi Join in Project to Connect Somalia Diaspora via SMS
Al Jazeera launched Somalia Speaks to help amplify stories from people and their everyday lives in the region -- all via SMS. The goal of Somalia Speaks is to aggregate unheard voices from inside the region as well as from the Somalia diaspora by asking via text message: "how has the Somalia conflict affected your life?" Responses are translated into English and plotted on a map.
See the full article (PBS, Melissa Ulbricht, 1/6/12)
[Return to top]

Activists Seek to Organize Azerbaijani Facebook Protest
Azerbaijani social-media activists have launched a Facebook campaign called the Great Movement of the People in an attempt to strengthen public supervision of government actions it considers illegal. [Azerbaijani activist and blogger Elnur] Majidli told RFE/RL that more than 40,000 users have already shared material through the Facebook page. The movement also has an official website and YouTube and Twitter accounts.
See the full article (RFE/RL, 1/6/12)
[Return to top]


What's New from PeaceMedia

David Damberger: What Happens When an NGO Admits Failure - TEDxYYC
International aid groups make the same mistakes over and over again. At TEDxYYC David Damberger uses his own engineering failure in India to call for the development sector to publicly admit, analyze, and learn from their missteps.
See the full video
[Return to top]

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

Did we miss anything?



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


Click here to unsubscribe