USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace



Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, September 12 - 18, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

How Photographic Technology Shapes Our Understanding of War
Graphic imagery has been an indelible feature of armed conflict from the days of Civil War daguerreotypes, when Matthew Brady and other early photographers captured the horrors of the battlefield. With each succeeding war, as cameras became more advanced, the role of photography has evolved to convey the realities of combat and the agonies inflicted.
See the full article (Atlantic, Peter Osnos, 9/18/13)
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Colombian Radio Presenter Shot Dead
Colombian radio presenter Édison Alberto Molina, who hosted a radio programme in which he denounced government corruption, was shot and killed last Wednesday (11 September). Molina, a 40-year-old lawyer and politician, was shot four times in the face as he was heading home on his motorcycle from the community radio station in the town of Puerto Berrío.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 9/18/13)
Click to read "Colombia Peace Talks Might Require U.S. to Set Parameters of Support" an Olive Branch Post by Viola Gienger.
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Video Raises Questions About Possible Iranian Combat Role In Syria
Rebels battling Bashar al-Assad's forces in Syria have long claimed Tehran was directly involved in the fight. The smoking gun that would prove it, however, was lacking. Now, video footage that appears to show members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) working alongside Assad's forces is being portrayed as evidence of a direct Iranian combat role in the Syrian conflict.
See the full article (RFE/RL, Frud Bezhan, 9/17/13)
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Egypt Arrests Brotherhood Figure Who Handled Media
Security forces on Tuesday arrested Gehad el-Haddad, a senior [Egyptian] official of the Muslim Brotherhood who handled the group’s communication with the foreign news media, security officials said. His arrest was part of a continuing roundup of thousands of Brotherhood members in the two months since the military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi
See the full article (New York Times, David D. Kirkpatrick, 9/17/13)*NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Abeer Saady: Egyptian Journalism Dynamo
She's a ball of fire, constantly moving, talking, acting, fighting for journalists' rights, documenting events on tough assignments, traveling, training colleagues, and if possible, she'd add 48 hours to every 24-hour day. She's Abeer Saady, an Egyptian journalist who at age 14 got a magazine internship and began an illustrious career working for various local and foreign media.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Magda Abu-Fadil, 9/16/13)
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The Battle for Syria's Hearts and Minds- And Ears
Twenty minutes—this was the small window of time that Majid (not his real name) usually gave himself to broadcast his radio dispatches and then flee. The Syrian was making a name for himself as a bold, young journalist in Damascus, venturing into contested neighborhoods in the capital’s war-torn suburbs to deliver his reports.
See the full article (Daily Beast, Mike Giglio, 9/13/13)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Local Peace Committees and National Peacebuilding," on September 25, 2013 at 9:30 am.
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Iran's State Press Stole Our Article -- and Turned It Into Blatant Propaganda
Fars News Agency, the state-run Iranian news outlet famous for picking up an Onion story and presenting it as news, has apparently decided that plagiarizing satirical articles isn't brazen enough. On Thursday, the news agency's editors reprinted a Foreign Policy article on the debate over chemical weapons in Syria. And by "reprinted" we mean they lopped off entire paragraphs, changed key words, and added others to turn the argument into a case for why the U.S. shouldn't take military action in Syria.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Uri Friedman and Katelyn Fossett, 9/12/13)*FP sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Internet and Social Media

Pakistan's Internet Censors Seek Help from Canadian Company
In a nondescript, creeper-draped building in the capital of Islamabad, a small team of men is purging Pakistan's Internet. But they are not fast enough. So the government is now testing Canadian software that can block millions of sites a second. The censorship helps shape the views of 180 million Pakistanis on militancy, democracy and religion. Online debates dissect attacks by U.S. drone aircraft, the uneasy alliance with the United States and prospects for peace with arch rival India.
See the full article (Reuters, Katharine Houreld, 9/18/13)
Click to read "Domestic Barriers to Dismantling the Militant Infrastructure in Pakistan," a USIP PeaceWorks by Stephen Tankel.
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Kenya's William Ruto Trial: ICC Judge Warns Bloggers
A senior International Criminal Court (ICC) judge has warned Kenyan media and bloggers not to reveal the identity of witnesses at the trial of Deputy President William Ruto. The first prosecution witness, who gave evidence on Tuesday, was not named. But the BBC's Odhiambo Joseph in Nairobi says a local news site has published the photograph of a woman it claims to be the witness.
See the full article (BBC, 9/18/13)
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Iraqi Envoy Ducks Iran Exiles Questions in Online Chat
Iraq's new ambassador to the United States Wednesday repeatedly dodged questions about a mass killing at an Iraqi camp hosting Iranian exiles during his first online Twitter chat since taking up his post in July. "We await Prime Minister's special committee results to be released once full investigation completed #AskIraq," was [Lukman Faily’s] only in reply to a flood of inquiries about the attack.
See the full article (AFP, 9/18/13)
Click to read "Peacebuilding Reality Show for Iraqi Youth Gains Pan-Arab Appeal" an Olive Branch Post by Theo Dolan.
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Taliban Kill Afghan Election Official, Then Brag on Twitter
The Taliban killed a senior Afghan election official on Wednesday and then boasted about it on Twitter, in what officials said was the first attack by the insurgents on an official of the Independent Election Commission in recent years. The deputy police chief said that two men riding on a motorcycle opened fire on Mohammad Amanullah, Within an hour, a spokesman for the Taliban was on Twitter to claim responsibility for the attack.
See the full article (BBC, 9/17/13)
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Syria Crisis: How bloggers are Playing Part in Weapons Analysis
Eliot Higgins, known online as Brown Moses, is one of a number of specialist bloggers from around the world who have been analysing the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The bloggers have been providing important analysis to governments and human rights groups based on their exhaustive monitoring of social media.
See the full article (BBC, 9/17/13)
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Iran Seesawing on Social Media, Nuclear Policy May Reflect Infighting
One day Facebook is a handy way for Iranian government ministers to confer with the people. The next day it can be denounced as "a Zionist tool." Iranians were jubilant on Monday when the usual blockages and filters on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook fell by the wayside. By Tuesday morning, though, the government firewall was back in place, forcing those seeking contact with prohibited groups or websites to resume the cumbersome task of circumventing the censors.
See the full article (Los Angeles Times, Ramin Mostaghim and Carol J. Williams, 9/17/13)
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Afghanistan is Mostly Offline…But Ready to Embrace Social Media
Imagine living in a country where only 3.5 percent of the population use the Internet. A new National Social Media Summit [in Afghanistan] intends to change that trend. To be held September 22 to 23 in Kabul, and featuring some 200 speakers, the event will promote the use of social media as a way to not only discuss current news, but to make news.
See the full article (Fox News, John Brandon, 9/16/13)
Click to read "Documentation and Transitional Justice in Afghanistan," a USIP Special Report by Patricia A. Gossman. [Return to top] | [Return to section]

China Media: Detained Bloggers
China's official media reject public criticism over detained bloggers and welcome a US-Russia deal on Syria. State-run China Central Television on Sunday showed Charles Xue, a Chinese American businessman and a popular microblogger who is currently in detention, justifying more draconian government controls on the internet.
See the full article (BBC, 9/16/13)
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Free YouTube! Pakistan Ban, Provoked by Islam clips, Faces Court Action Over Web Censorship
[Pakistan’s YouTube ban] was imposed to block videos that Muslims took as insulting and blasphemous. But the unintended consequence has been frustration for many companies, educators and students. A petition to end Internet censorship is before a Pakistani court, and a debate has been rekindled over how to reconcile the right to a free flow of information with a widespread public sentiment that Islam needs special protections.
See the full article (AP, 9/15/13)
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Former NSA and CIA Director Says Terrorists Love Using Gmail
Former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden stood on the pulpit of a church across from the White House on Sunday and declared Gmail the preferred online service of terrorists. Hayden claimed "Gmail is the preferred Internet service provider of terrorists worldwide," presumably meaning online service rather than the actual provider of Internet service.
See the full article (Washington Post, Andrea Peterson, 9/15/13)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"Youth Police Football Clinic" - Search for Common Ground
Search for Common Ground Nepal's initiative with young Nepalis and Nepal Police to help strengthen the understanding, relationship and collaboration.
See the full video
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