USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, May 9 - 15, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

A Photographer's Unfiltered Account of the Iraq War
"Photojournalists on War," an oral history of the Iraq war by those who documented it from the front lines, was published this month by the University of Texas Press. The book consists of interviews conducted by Michael Kamber, who covered the war for eight years for The New York Times and is a co-founder of the Bronx Documentary Center.
See the full article (New York Times, 5/15/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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It's a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn't Want to Be a Reporter There
Turkey's record on press freedom is deeply troubling. With 47 journalists imprisoned for their work, the country is the world's leading jailer of journalists -- ahead of Iran and China. Most of those imprisoned were employed by media outlets that support Kurdish autonomy; others are accused of supporting an ultra-nationalist conspiracy to topple the government.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Christophe Deloire and Joel Simon, 5/15/13) *Foreign Policy sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Palestinians Curb Israeli Reporters' Access to Occupied Territories
Palestinian journalists, who complain of their treatment at the hands of the Israeli government, are waging a campaign to make it harder for Israeli reporters to cover stories in the Israeli-occupied territories. The result is that two peoples who live side by side may soon know even less about each other.
See the full article (Washington Post, 5/15/13)
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Egyptian Imam Slams Hardline TV Fatwas for Spreading Hatred
An Egyptian imam has slammed hardline TV fatwas, or religious edicts, in an impassioned speech at the opening of the Arab Media Forum in Dubai. Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar Mosque, said "tens of channels" in the region are guilty of a "lack of professionalism" in airing the sometimes extreme edicts, which he said help spread hatred.
See the full article (Al Arabiya, Ben Flanagan, 5/14/13)
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On Eve of Pivotal Election, Pakistan Orders Times Reporter to Leave
Pakistan's Interior Ministry has ordered the expulsion of the Islamabad bureau chief for The New York Times on the eve of national elections, the newspaper said Friday. The Times has strongly protested the move and is seeking his reinstatement. The ministry did not give any detailed explanation for the expulsion order.
See the full article (New York Times, Rick Gladstone, 5/10/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Colombian Investigative Reporter Keeps Low Profile, But Still Suffers Attack
His exclusives have triggered some of Colombia's biggest scandals, leading to the dismissals, arrests and prosecutions of dozens of crooked, sometimes murderous public officials. To the public, this old-fashioned gumshoe reporter's face is unknown. Now, the prize-winning reporter fears, his cover has been blown.
See the full article (AP, 5/10/13)
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Internet and Social Media

Syria Suffers Yet Another Internet Blackout
Just a week after a previous online blackout, Syria is once again cut off from the global Internet. The latest disruption started at 07:01 UTC/03:01 a.m. ET, according to Internet monitoring firm Renesys. As it usually happens in these cases, the reasons behind the widespread outage are a matter of perspective. Syrian authorities have already blamed the outage on technical issues. Outside Syria, this claim is seen with skepticism.
See the full article (Mashable, Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, 5/15/13)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "A Syrian No Fly Zone: Options and Constraints" on May 29 at 10:00am.
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For Palestinians, Google's Small Change is a Big Deal
The webpage used to read "Google: Palestinian Territories." On May 1, the company quietly changed that regional search page to say "Google: Palestine." Google didn't announce the name change, but it didn't have to. In a place where small gestures can carry great symbolism, Palestinians noticed right away.
See the full article (NPR, Emily Harris, 5/14/13)
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China Tries to Rein in Microbloggers
China has launched a new drive to tame its boisterous microblogging culture by closing influential accounts belonging to writers and intellectuals who have used them to highlight social injustice. The strict censorship of mainstream media in China has made social media an essential forum for public debate, but authorities have shown increasing determination to control it.
See the full article (Guardian, Tania Branigan, 5/14/13)
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Ushahidi's Rugged BRCK, 'The Backup Generator for the Internet'
Sometimes, when you need access to the web the most is when it's most likely to be hard to find. It could even be a matter of life or death. So having a backup connection that you can carry in your pocket, that will work from Windhoek to Williamsburg, sounds like a good idea. That's the concept behind Ushahidi's BRCK.
See the full article (, Ian Steadman, 5/13/13)
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How Can Social Media Change How Development is Done?
28 January 2011, in response to growing public protests - and fearing mass uprising as had just happened in Tunisia - the government of then president, Hosni Mubarak, followed the example of Burma, and a few others before it, and disabled internet and mobile phone networks. Why? To prevent people from accessing social media.
See the full article (Guardian, Eliza Anyangwe, 5/13/13)
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Sudanese Security Pulls Plug on Khartoum Web Conference
The organizer of a forum on promoting ideas through the Internet accused Sudanese state security agents on Saturday of shutting down the event in Khartoum by cutting off the power. The local branch of New York-based TED, an independent group that spreads knowledge about the Internet and social media, drew 900 people to its 'Knowledge into Action' conference.
See the full article (Reuters, Ulf Laessing, 5/11/13)
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Bahraini Blogger Ali Abdulemam Flees to UK
Ali Abdulemam, a prominent blogger in Bahrain, has been smuggled out of the troubled Gulf kingdom and taken refuge in the UK. Abdulemam escaped in a secret compartment of a car up a causeway that joins Bahrain to Saudi Arabia. Abdulemam's troubles began when he started to write articles critical of the ruling Al Khalifa family.
See the full article (BBC, Bill Law, 5/10/13)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"The Other Half: Women in Mediation" - Crisis Management Initiative
According to UN Women, no woman has been appointed peace mediator in any of the continent's major peace talks since 1992. In this video, four experts reflect on the challenges that women face in African peace mediation and share their views on what the African Union should do to improve the inclusion of women in peace processes.
See the full video
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