USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, June 26 - July 10, 2013

Media and Journalism

Media and the Political Transition in Egypt

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Somalia's Media Revival Braves Old Dangers
Experience has taught Somali journalist Mohamed Hassan how to spot a suicide bomber, which neighbourhoods to avoid and how to cope with the loss of colleagues - his own brother was killed. Although Islamist militias were driven from Mogadishu some two years ago and media are flourishing as never before, those lessons are just as relevant in what is one of the world's most dangerous cities for journalists or anyone else.
See the full article (Reuters, Abdi Sheikh, 7/10/13)
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AFP Reporter to Tell UN Council about Covering War
Agence France-Presse's award-winning correspondent in Somalia, Mustafa Haji Abdinur, is to give a keynote presentation to the UN Security Council this month on journalists in conflict. With attacks growing on journalists around the world, Abdinur will be one of four reporters to get a rare chance to appear in the Security Council chamber.
See the full article (AFP, 7/2/13)
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Foreign Media Portrayals of the Conflict in Syria are Dangerously Inaccurate
The foreign media reporting of the Syrian conflict is surely as inaccurate and misleading as anything we have seen since the start of the First World War. I can't think of any other war or crisis I have covered in which propagandistic, biased or second-hand sources have been so readily accepted by journalists as providers of objective facts.
See the full article (Independent, Patrick Cockburn, 6/30/13)
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Turkish PM's Treason Claims against BBC Reporter Chills Other Journalists
Selin Gerit, a London-based presenter for BBC's Turkish service, was until last week relatively unknown in her home country. However, that changed when Recep Tayyip Erdogan told parliament she was guilty of treason over her coverage of the anti-government protests sweeping the nation. The prime minister's condemnation has triggered concerns among fellow journalists, who believe Erdogan is attempting to stifle dissent.
See the full article (Guardian, Constanze Letsch, 6/28/13)
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U.S. Acknowledges Reports of Satellite Interference
Speaking yesterday to reporters during the U.S. State Department's morning briefing, spokesman Patrick Ventrell took a question about reports that RFE/RL's satellite programming to Azerbaijan has encountered targeted interference. Earlier this month, Aliyev signed into law a bill that would criminalize what it calls defamatory and insulting views posted on the Internet.
See the full article (RFE/RL, 6/28/13)
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Media and the Political Transition in Egypt

Egyptian State Media Backs Military Action as Rival Organs Attacked
In an atmosphere of extreme polarisation, [Egypt's] state and many independent news organisations are now solidly backing the interim president Adly Mansour, who was installed by the army last week. TV channels sympathetic to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood have been shut down.
See the full article (Guardian, Ian Black and Patrick Kingsley, 7/9/13)
Click to read "Egypt’s Grand Mufti and Bishop Fear New, Escalating Religious Strife" an Olive Branch Post by Scott Smith.
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Egypt's Media War Is Almost as Nasty as the One in the Streets
Across the country, there's a media divide -- full of overheated rhetoric that wipes out any potential for middle ground -- that mirrors how politics are playing out on the street right now. How the country can come together after this shock, or even agree on a single narrative about what happened, remains a mystery.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, David Kenner, 7/8/13)
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Media Wars in Egypt: The Revolution Continues With Journalists in the Crosshairs
Upon taking power and unseating the first democratically elected president, the military immediately shut down several Egyptian and Arab television stations and arrested numerous journalists. Dozens of journalists remain in jail and several stations off-air amid the military's assertion that it was carrying out the will of the people. It is deeply problematic to make statements about the promotion and assurance of democracy amid a wide ranging crackdown on the media and journalists.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Courtney C. Radsch, 7/8/13)
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Mideast Journalists Allege Bias in Al-Jazeera’s Reporting on Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood
Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arabic news channel, has always battled charges of bias, both from government officials in the Middle East and from those in Washington. But on Monday, the bias claims came from an unusual source: other Middle Eastern journalists. In an unusual episode, al-Jazeera’s reporters were kicked out of a news briefing held by the Egyptian military in Cairo after the shooting of dozens of supporters of Mohammad Morsi, the nation’s ousted president.
See the full article (Washington Post, Paul Farhi, 7/8/13)
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Behind Egypt's Media Crackdown
It is a new political dawn in Egypt and a new reality for the country's media after the country's military went on a media clampdown. It shut down four religious TV stations, banned the Muslim Brotherhood's newspaper and raided the office of Al Jazeera's Egypt affiliate, Mubasher Misr, sparking outrage and mounting condemnation of the closures from rights groups around the world.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, 7/6/13)
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Morsi Ousted While Sparring With Egyptian Army on Social Media
Social media has for years been a source of news and information during political upheaval. It's also been a place for opposition groups to organize. But there's a new circumstance that has been occurring alongside all that: The crucial players in the conflict — Morsi and the military — are using social media to post statements not simultaneously seen on other media.
See the full article (Mashable, Alex Fitzpatrick, 7/3/13)
Click to read "Morsi Meter in Egypt: 9,427 Protests and Counting" an Olive Branch Post by Garrett Nada.
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Journalist Killed, Another Raped, in Egypt Protests
A journalist covering a protest in Port Said against Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was killed by a homemade bomb on Saturday. Seven other journalists were injured while covering protests at the weekend. And one 22-year-old female reporter was reported to have been raped after being attacked in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 7/2/13)
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Internet and Social Media

Iran to Provide Citizens with Official State Email Addresses
The Iranian government has announced that it will assign citizens with official state email addresses, setting a new norm for how the government interacts with its citizens, according to Communications Minister Mohammad Hassan Nami. In a vaguely worded statement that lacked detail, the government made no mention of whether private email addresses would banned nor whether the state email addresses would be obligatory.
See the full article (Guardian, Siraj Datoo, 7/9/13)
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The Secret Behind The Turkish Protesters’ Social Media Mastery
In the age of social media, protesters often turn to social channels to push their cause, but rarely with the skill of those in Turkey. While the protesters’ widespread use of social media can be ascribed to many factors, the root of their social media skill and audacity can be traced back to a uniquely Turkish form of social media called the sozluks — a phenomenon that sprung up and thrived in Turkey years before Facebook and Twitter came into existence.
See the full article (PBS, Alex Kantrowitz, 7/1/13)
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Peace: The Next Big Frontier For Social Technology
Peace innovation is already happening. We often read about how social can be used to topple corrupt governments, and install others, but the larger work of building “civil society” is relatively obscure. But one of the lessons learned in this arena is that by combining offline engagement (interactive event design) with online engagement, organizations seeking to make peace can more effectively get to the issues.
See the full article (Forbes, Giovanni Rodriguez, 6/28/13)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Effective Foreign Assistance and National Security: A View from Congressman Adam Smith" on July 19 at 9:00am.
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Burma Moves to Delay Foreign Telecom Deals
Foreign companies hoping to tap into one of the world’s final telecom frontiers grappled with lingering political uncertainties Wednesday after Burma’s lower house of parliament ruled that licenses for two new cellphone networks should be delayed until a law governing the sector is passed. Currently fewer than 6 million of country’s 60 million people have cellphones, putting it on par with North Korea when it comes to connectivity.
See the full article (AP, 6/27/13)
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Turkey Seeks to Tighten Control over Twitter
The Turkish government has asked Twitter to set up an office inside the country so company representatives can be reached more easily. Both Twitter and Facebook were used to spread information during recent anti-government protests.Several dozen tweeters were arrested following the protests, according to local media reports.
See the full article (BBC, 6/27/13)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

Long Shadow of the Big Man
This timely and broad-ranging documentary unravels the complex reasons behind Africa’s arrested development over the past 50 years. It paints the picture of a continent ravaged by war and the politics of the 'Big Man'. Throughout we examine the relationship between good governance and prosperity.
See the full video
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