USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, March 28 - April 3, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Mobs Storm Newspapers in Baghdad
The angry mobs barged into the newspaper buildings, in the heart of bustling Baghdad. They smashed equipment, stole files, beat up guards and workers, and tossed one person from a roof. The assaults, which unfolded simultaneously Monday, apparently stemmed from outrage over a story seen as critical toward a Shiite cleric in Karbala.
See the full article (CNN, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Joe Sterling, 4/3/13)
Click to read "Mitigating Media Incitement to Violence in Iraq," a USIP Special Report by Maureen Taylor and Theo Dolan.
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Tamil Paper Uthayan Attacked in Northern Sri Lanka
Masked men in northern Sri Lanka have attacked the offices of a Tamil newspaper and beaten its staff. The owner of the pro-opposition Uthayan paper said six masked men entered the building in Kilinochchi before dawn. It is the fourth time this year that Tamil-language newspapers or their distributors have been attacked in Sri Lanka.
See the full article (BBC, 4/3/13)
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Inside the War Machine: New Documentary Maps an Epic Photo Career
Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington is a posthumous recounting of one of the most impressive photojournalism careers to date. Hetherington, who died in Misrata, Libya on April 20, 2011 in a mortar attack while covering the civil war, was well known for his creative and impassioned approach to documenting the human side of war.
See the full article (Wired, Jakob Schiller, 4/3/13)
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The Turkish Media Muzzle
Turkey's image is suffering as a result of the prime minister's heavy-handed approach with Turkish journalists who refuse to toe the line. In recent years, Turkey has jailed more journalists than any other country, thanks to the liberally interpreted anti-terrorism law, a law that highlights deep structural problems within the Turkish legal system.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, 4/2/13)
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Syrian Newspapers Emerge to Fill Out War Reporting
Absi Smesem became the editor in chief of a new weekly Syrian newspaper hoping to leave behind what he disparaged as the "Facebook phase" of the uprising. The tall tales and outright misinformation that tainted so much reporting from Syria convinced him that more objective coverage was essential to bolster the effort to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
See the full article (New York Times, Neil MacFarquhar, 4/1/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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U.S. Accuses Egypt of Stifling Freedom of Expression
The United States on Monday accused Egypt of muzzling freedom of speech after prosecutors questioned the most popular Egyptian television satirist over allegations he insulted President Mohamed Mursi and Islam. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also suggested the Egyptian authorities were ignoring or playing down attacks on anti-government demonstrators.
See the full article (Reuters, Arshad Mohammed, 4/1/13)
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A Step Toward Democracy: Privately Owned Newspapers Return to Myanmar
For most people in Myanmar, it will be a novelty when privately run daily newspapers hit the streets on Monday. Many weren't even born when the late dictator Ne Win imposed a state monopoly on the daily press in the 1960s. In Myanmar the state has monopolized the daily press since the 1960s, but privately owned daily newspapers will hit the streets once again.
See the full article (AP, Aye Aye Win, 3/31/13)
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Internet and Social Media

Embassy Cairo Shuts Down Twitter Feed After Muslim Brotherhood Spat
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo shut down its Twitter feed Wednesday following a public fight with the Egyptian Presidency and the Muslim Brotherhood over the arrest of an Egyptian television star. "It's inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda," the official Twitter feed for the Egyptian presidency said on their own feed Tuesday.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Josh Rogin, 4/3/13) *Foreign Policy sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Cartel Watchdog Disappears from Social Media After Death Threats
The Twitter and Facebook accounts for a popular crime watchdog in one of Mexico's most dangerous states have been abruptly taken down. Watchdog group Bravery for Tamaulipas was something of a clearinghouse for information about the cartels in the state. Information posted to the social media accounts was also in stark contrast to the quieter reporting by mainstream newspapers.
See the full article (Wired, Robert Beckhusen, 4/3/13)
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Saudi Arabia 'May End' Twitter User Anonymity
Saudi Arabia may try to end anonymity for Twitter users in the country by limiting access to the site to people who register their identification documents. Twitter is highly popular with Saudis and has stirred broad debate on subjects ranging from religion to politics in a country where such public discussion had been considered at best unseemly and sometimes illegal.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, 3/31/13)
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Russians Selectively Blocking Internet
Russian communications regulators have required Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to remove material that the officials determined was objectionable, with only YouTube, owned by Google, resisting. Opposition leaders have railed against the law as a crack in the doorway to broader Internet censorship.
See the full article (New York Times, Andrew E. Kramer, 3/31/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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North Korea's Internet? What Internet? For Most, Online Access Doesn't Exist
You won't find people in North Korea checking Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates on the tense situation created by its leader, Kim Jong Un. That's because the nation of 24 million is largely shut out from the Internet. Few outside the government and military have ever been online.
See the full article (NBC News, Suzanne Choney, 3/30/13)
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Palestinians Fight Prison Sentences for Mocking Their President on Facebook
A Palestinian court on Thursday upheld a one-year jail sentence for a journalist convicted of insulting President Mahmoud Abbas with a pastiche image posted on Facebook. Another Palestinian was given the same sentence last month for posting a humorous caption beneath an image of Mr. Abbas kicking a soccer ball on the social network.
See the full article (New York Times, Robert Mackey, 3/28/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"Bridge Media Promo" - AED
Bridge Media is AED's signature approach to using radio, broadcast, print, and electronic media to bridge inter-ethnic tensions in divided countries. Bridge Media initiatives use inter-ethnic production teams to develop popular media programs that promote peace and reach nationwide audiences while building indigenous media capacity.
See the full video
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