USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, May 23 - 29, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Pakistani Journalist Murdered
A Pakistani newspaper reporter was shot dead on Friday apparently for helping police in an investigation, reports the Karachi-based Express Tribune. Police said Ahmed Ali Joiya - who freelanced for several local papers and magazines - had been assisting officers while working on a crime story.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 5/29/13)
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Dios Mío! Pentagon's Latest Weapon in Colombian Drug War? Soap Operas
The U.S. Army is introducing a new weapon in its fight to get Colombia's guerrillas to put down their guns: the soap opera. That's the gist of a recent Army request for proposals. According to the request, the Army wants a potential contractor to write and produce a total of 20 radio novela episodes, with eight episodes that "convey messages that promote demobilization," or encouraging armed groups to put down their weapons.
See the full article (Wired, Robert Beckhusen, 5/29/13)
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Journalists in Uganda Hit with Tear Gas While Protesting Media Crackdown
Ugandan police fired tear gas at journalists in the capital Kampala on Tuesday who were protesting against a media crackdown after press reports sparked a rare public debate on who will succeed aging President Yoweri Museveni. Authorities in the east African country halted operations at two newspapers and two radio stations on May 20.
See the full article (Reuters, Elias Biryabarema, 5/28/13)
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Syrian TV Reporter Killed Covering Conflict
A Syrian TV correspondent working for a pro-government channel has been killed while covering clashes near the border with Lebanon, the country's Information Ministry says, in the latest death of a journalist in Syria's more than two-year-old conflict. Yara Abbas, a prominent female war reporter for state-owned Al-Ikhbariyah TV, was attacked by rebels near the town of Qusayr in Homs province.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, 5/27/13)
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Violence Against Journalists in Afghanistan Increasing
The rise of independent media in Afghanistan has been one of the country's biggest achievements - but there are troubling signs for its future. A growing number of attacks on journalists, and the international community's continued silence on the issue, are drawing concern.
See the full article (Voice of America, Bethany Matta, 5/27/13)
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Print Media Thrives in Myanmar Where Internet is Limited
Although print media is often seen as past its prime in the U.S. and Europe, in many Asian countries such as China and India newspapers are thriving and expanding. One example is Myanmar, also known as Burma, where only 1 percent of the people have access to the Internet, and private daily newspapers are rushing into print after decades of being banned.
See the full article (NPR, Anthony Kuhn, 5/24/13)
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Internet and Social Media

U.S. Company Allegedly Aids Syria and Iran Censorship Efforts
The French investigative publication Reflets discovered that American company Blue Coat is currently providing the government of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and that of the Islamic Republic of Iran with software to filter and spy on their countries' Internet activities in contravention of U.S. law.
See the full article (Mashable, Curt Hopkins, 5/29/13)
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Singapore to Require News Websites to be Licensed; Seen as Some as Bid to Control the Internet
Singapore's government says a new policy will require online news websites to be licensed, a move that is being criticized as a form of censorship in a country where media outlets are already strictly controlled. The policy will require websites that report regularly on Singapore news and have at least 50,000 visitors a month to obtain annual licenses.
See the full article (AP, 5/29/13)
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Iran's Approaching Vote Brings Receding Web Access
From a computer keyboard in London, an Iranian emigre plays the role of counselor, social media guru and all-around adviser for Internet users back home seeking ways around the cyber-blocks set up by authorities in Tehran. These have been busy days. The goal is to defeat Iran's Internet clampdowns, which have intensified in the approach to presidential elections on June 14.
See the full article (AP, Nasser Karimi, 5/27/13)
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Pakistan Teenager Rescued After Kidnap by Fake Facebook Friend
A 13-year-old boy who was kidnapped in the Pakistani city of Karachi after being lured into a meeting via Facebook has been rescued, police say. Police said that a criminal gang masqueraded as an online gaming friend and abducted him after arranging to meet him last week. Kidnapping is a tactic frequently used by militants and criminals in Pakistan.
See the full article (BBC, 5/27/13)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"A Peace Bus to Address Gang Violence in Guatemala" - American Friends Service Committee
AFSC's Peace Bus in Guatemala travels around the city to provide urban youth with a "safe space" to receive counseling and learn conflict resolution skills. After having gained the confidence of the gang members, the Peace Truck achieved a peace agreement between gangs and the community mediated by a former gang member.
See the full video
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