USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, February 21 - 27, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Zimbabwe Authorities Seize Radios, Mobile Receivers
Journalists and human rights lawyers in Zimbabwe said they are worried by authorities' seizure of radios and mobile equipment that receive stations other than the state-controlled broadcaster. The development comes as the African country prepares for a constitutional referendum in March and elections later in the year.
See the full article (Voice of America, Sebastian Mhofu, 2/26/13)
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Increasing Cyberattacks Threaten Free Press in Burma
Cyberattacks on news websites and apparent government hacking into journalists' email accounts have raised new questions about the integrity of media reforms in Burma. The New York Times reported earlier this month that several journalists who regularly cover Burma-related news recently received warning messages from Google that their email accounts may have been hacked by "state-sponsored attackers."
See the full article (PBS, Shawn Crispin, 2/25/13)
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Bangladeshi Journalists Attacked
At least 18 journalists were injured in Bangladesh on Friday when Islamist activists attacked them in separate incidents in three cities. In Dhaka, the capital, 10 journalists were taken to hospital after being assaulted in a series of clashes outside a mosque. Anti-Islamist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider been covering the street demonstrations held to demand that Islamist leaders guilty of war crimes during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence against Pakistan should be tried.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 2/25/13)
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Photoactivist Seeking End to Kenya's Tribal Tensions
As a photographer for one of Kenya's national daily newspapers, Boniface Mwangi captured extraordinary images of the violence Kenyans unleashed on each other, following the disputed presidential elections in 2007. Traumatized by witnessing the daily atrocities and depressed by the state of Kenyan politics he turned his talents to activism, setting up a creative space for activists called Pawa 254.
See the full article (BBC, Chris Parkinson, 2/25/13)
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Syria Citizen Journalists Wonder if Guns Trump Cameras
Citizen journalists in Syria do much to give the world a picture of the death and destruction in their country. "We are the eyes of the world," says Kinda, the only woman among 10 people working round the clock in a media centre in the eastern oil hub of Deir Ezzor, laid waste by months of intense combat between rebels and troops of President Bashar al-Assad. "Without us, the world would not know what is happening... because no Western news media has dared come here," she said.
See the full article (AFP, Jose Rodriguez, 2/24/13)
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It's Tough to be a Reporter in a War Zone, for Both Men and Women
War has always been serious and deadly. It has always involved refined and developed machinery that becomes more precise as battles wage on. Anyone with a sense of nuance knows the only place war is a battlefield with infantrymen is on a board with a toy set. It's a mistake to portray female correspondents as more inexperienced or prone to being attacked.
See the full article (Atlantic, Jamie Tarabay, 2/23/13)
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Iran Targets BBC Persian Service by Jamming Signals and Harassing Staff
Staff at the BBC's Persian service face satellite jamming, smear campaigns and intimidation, says Peter Horrocks, director of the BBC World Service. In an article for Index on Censorship, he reveals that Iran's interference with the BBC's signals started in 2009 at the time of Iran's presidential election. Jamming began on election day and continued in the aftermath of the election during the street protests.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 2/22/13)
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The Missing Journalists of Syria's War: The Struggle to Save Those Who Bear Witness
At least a few hundred journalists crossed into Syria last year to cover what has now become a wrenching civil war that has left tens of thousands of Syrians dead, forced hundreds of thousands more into neighboring countries and displaced millions within their own borders. Today, a press freedom initiative called "A Day Without News?" launched with the goals of highlighting the extreme risks taken by journalists who choose to cover armed conflict around the world.
See the full article (TIME, 2/22/13)
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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Plays Out in Oscar Docs
"5 Broken Cameras" details the struggles of Burnat, a Palestinian father of four, and his neighbors in the village of Bil'in who, when they aren't farming the land, are practicing nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. Burnat, 41, films the bulldozers, then the wall, the settlers moving in, the Israeli soldiers, a friend being killed by those soldiers, olive trees set afire at night in retaliation for the protests.
See the full article (ABC News, Nancy Ramsey, 2/21/13)
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Internet and Social Media

The New Westphalian Web
Information has always been power, and governments have long sought to control it. So for countries where power is a tightly controlled narrative, parsed by state television and radio stations, the Internet has been catastrophic. Its global, decentralized networks of information-sharing have routed around censorship. It gives people an outlet to publish what the media cannot, organize where organizing is forbidden, and revolt where protest is unknown.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Katherine Maher, 2/25/13) *Foreign Policy sign-up may be required to view the full article
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The Readers' Editor On... Interpreting Social Media Reports from Egypt
As violence returned to [Egypt's] Tahrir square last autumn, social media were once again the forum for every side to rally support and lay out their version of events. Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are the weapons of choice in the war to win hearts and minds. But it can be a bewildering tide of data for even the most perceptive and experienced observers.
See the full article (Guardian, Chris Elliott, 2/24/13)
Click to read "" a USIP Peace Brief by Holger Albrecht.
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War Correspondents' in Mexico Address Mainstream Media Shortcomings, Use Twitter to Spread Information
In Mexico's drug-war-torn cities, a small number of Twitter users affected by narco violence are acting as war correspondents to the masses, providing a public-safety alert system of sorts, according to a recent research paper from Microsoft, called "The New War Correspondents: The Rise of Civic Media Curation in Urban Warfare." These "curators" "produce an inordinately high number of tweets compared to other users, informing people about recent violence, clashes and other news.
See the full article (TechCrunch, Sarah Ines Calderon, 2/22/13)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"Change" - EME
To the sound of EME's new youth anthem "Change," Banky W, WizKid and other top Nigerian artists and civil society leaders urge Naija youth to get up, get out and participate in the democratic process.
See the full video
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