USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace



Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, November 14 - 20, 2013

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

One Satirist Exposes Egypt's Lopsided Media Viewpoint
Almost two months after the eruption of Egypt’s January 25, 2011 revolution, an Egyptian cardiac surgeon decided to follow in the footsteps of the Daily Show’s host Jon Stewart by criticizing, sarcastically, the hypocrisy of the nations’ mainstream media outlets in their coverage of Egypt's tectonic events. Two years on and despite Youssef's unprecedented success, his show was recently suspended after the airing of the first episode of its new season, as he "dared" to criticize the military-backed government and Egypt's "national saviour", General Abdel Fattah El Sisi, commander of the armed forces.
See the full article (Open Democracy, Ahmed Magdy Youssef, 11/20/13)
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Myanmar Journalist Describes Big Changes in Media Landscape
Myanmar is experiencing enormous change as it opens up to international investment after years of military rule. The government's decision to lift direct press censorship has opened up new freedoms for publishers. But it's also presenting fresh challenges for journalists, as well as an increasingly competitive media environment.
See the full article (Radio Australia, 11/20/13)
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Attack in Beirut Through the Lens of Hezbollah TV
As our colleagues Hwaida Saad and Anne Barnard report from Beirut, the deadly bombings at the gate of the Iranian Embassy in the Lebanese capital on Tuesday were immediately interpreted there as a form of retaliation for Iran’s intervention in the civil war in neighboring Syria. That was abundantly clear in the way the attacks were reported by Al Manar, a satellite news channel operated by Hezbollah, the militant and political organization supported by Iran that represents Lebanon’s Shiite Muslim community.
See the full article (New York Times, Robert Mackey and Liam Stack, 11/19/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
Click to read "Navigating the Rise of Sunni-Shia Violent Sectarianism" an Olive Branch Post by Qamar-ul Huda.
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Why Channel 4 Journalists Pulled Out of Sri Lanka
Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear pulled his reporting team out of Sri Lanka in the face of ceaseless intimidation. They arrived in Colombo to report the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) but were subjected to days of what he called "organised and controlled protests". The journalists were accused of lying and of supporting the LTTE - the former, and now defeated, Tamil Tigers.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 11/19/13)
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An Epidemic of Journalist Kidnappings in Syria
Thirty journalists—half of them foreign reporters, half of them Syrian—have been kidnapped or gone missing in Syria, the Associated Press reported last week. The number is unprecedented. Syria today is the scene of the single largest wave of kidnappings in modern journalism, more than in Iraq during the 2000s or Lebanon during the 1980s.
See the full article (Atlantic, David Rohde, 11/18/13)
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Violence In Guinea After Journalist Mandian Sidibe Claims He Was Targeted For Assassination
One person was killed and nine others injured during clashes in Guinea's capital after a journalist critical of President Alpha Conde said he had been targeted for assassination, a government statement said. The violence highlighted simmering tensions in the West African nation, days after the Supreme Court rejected opposition challenges to the ruling party's victory in a Sept. 28 parliamentary election.
See the full article (Reuters, 11/18/13)
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New Film, Protests Highlight Disappearances In Pakistan
The families of suspected Baloch separatists, dubbed "missing persons," claim their loved ones are being abducted by Pakistani security agencies without charges. These family members, as well as human-rights watchdogs, claim that the suspected Baloch separatists are frequently killed and their bodies dumped. Others remain missing years after having been picked up. A new short film, "The Line of Freedom," hopes to shed light on this largely forgotten crisis. It depicts the story of a Baloch activist who was abducted and tortured and then dumped after being shot.
See the full article (RFE/RL, 11/18/13)
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North Korea Endorses ‘Double Down’ as Proof that ‘The U.S. is the Root Cause of All Sorts of Evils’
North Korea's official media arm, the Korean Central News Agency, will seize on just about anything that helps it portray the "U.S. imperialist dogs" as the innately evil cause of all the world's suffering. On Sunday, KCNA found a new source for its media campaign: "Double Down," the gossipy new book chronicling the 2012 presidential election. The story argues two things: that the book exposes Obama as a cold-blooded, war-mongering killer and that these revelations were generating wide public outrage against the president.
See the full article (Washington Post, Max Fisher, 11/18/13)
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Freelancers Need Help to Meet the Challenges of Conflict Zone Reporting
Almost two decades later, significant risks remain [for freelance journalists]. Some would say that, because of the growth in demand from news outlets and the number of freelancers trying to service it, they have actually worsened. On Thursday, the BBC Academy's College of Journalism event called Working in Hostile Environments will give more than 200 freelance journalists the chance to take part in workshops on preparing for an assignment, battlefield first aid and coping with trauma.
See the full article (Guardian, Sian Williams, 11/17/13)
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Turkey Moves to Silence Dissenters, but With One Eye on Its Image Abroad
As the memory begins to fade of those sweeping protests [in Turkey], which began to save Gezi Park in central Istanbul from being razed and became the most serious challenge to Mr. Erdogan’s decade in power, the government has moved aggressively against its perceived adversaries. More than a thousand students, teachers, doctors and activists — even mosque imams — have been hauled in for questioning for their role in the civic unrest. “It has come to a point where members can’t even tweet without fear of being investigated for their thoughts,” said Mr. Muhcu, one of the few activists still willing to offer a public critique of the government.
See the full article (New York Times, Tim Arango and Ceylan Yeginsu, 11/14/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Internet and Social Media

Hackers Broke Into Syria's Secret Police Computers And Found... Porn
An exiled Syrian hacker has claimed to have cracked the systems of the country’s brutal secret police to find evidence that intelligence officers spent their working days watching pornography. The computer expert was a leading member of a youth wing of the Syrian opposition, and fled to Europe in fear of his life after several of his colleagues were arrested by the Mukhabarat, Syria’s feared intelligence agency. The Syrian conflict has become increasingly bloody this year, with a number of chemical weapons atrocities and vicious attacks on civilians. It has also featured many cyber assaults, such as the global actions of hacking groups like the Syrian Electronic Army.
See the full article (Forbes, Jasper Hamill, 11/20/13)
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Govt Plans Crackdown on People Spreading Sectarian Hatred on Social Media
On Monday, the federal government [of Pakistan] decided to launch a crackdown against those involved in spreading sectarian hatred on social media. According to media reports, the federal government has issued directives to the federal ministry of information and technology and the Federal Investigation Agency to launch a crackdown on people responsible for spreading sectarian hatred on various social media platforms and the internet.
See the full article (Pakistan Today, 11/20/13)
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Protesters Hit Egypt's Tahrir Square Anniversary of Deaths
Hundreds of Egyptians gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Tuesday to commemorate the deaths of protesters killed two years ago and call for the army-backed government to adopt reforms. Supporters of army chief General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who promised stability and free elections when he overthrew elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July, also showed up at Tahrir but were chased away by activists. Some activists wrote on social media about their desire to overthrow what they call the new "military junta", a reference to the interim government installed by the army after Morsi's removal.
See the full article (NBC News, Maggie Fick, 11/19/13)
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Norway Spying On Phones In 'Conflict Areas' Outside Country
Norway's military intelligence chief has admitted his country spies on millions of phone calls in conflict areas around the world and shares that data with allies, including the United States. Lt. Gen. Kjell Grandhagen, head of the Nordic country's military intelligence agency, says some of the calls involved Norwegian citizens. He said his agency's actions were legal under Norwegian law when there are suspicions of terrorism-related activity.
See the full article (AP, 11/19/13)
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Inside Avaaz – Can Online Activism Really Change the World?
With 30 million members, Avaaz is an organisation with ambitions to save us all through technology. In just six years, Avaaz – which means "voice" in various languages – has become a global pressure group to be reckoned with. It's a new kind of activism that isn't issue-led, it's issues-led. It's human rights abuses in Burma, or it's the Syrian civil war, or it's threats against the Great Barrier Reef or it's homophobia in Costa Rica. It's whatever its supporters, guided by the Avaaz team, choose to click on most this month.
See the full article (Guardian, Carole Cadwalladr, 11/16/13)
Click to read "Saudi Women Try to Break Enforced ‘Car-Free Diet’" an Olive Branch Post by Jacqueline H. Wilson.
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"Prayers for Peace on the Beach" - Euronews
Catholics from all corners of the globe gathered on the famous Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the opening of World Youth day.
See the full video
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There will be no News Roundup distributed next week. Happy Thanksgiving from USIP's PeaceTech Initiative!



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