No Tweeting Allowed in the Vatican Mar06

No Tweeting Allowed in the Vatican

  In his last year as pope, Benedict XVI made several moves that appeared aimed at reshaping his legacy in the Catholic Church.  First, the Vatican hired Greg Burke, a top Fox News commentator to manage communications for the Holy See.  It also cooperated with the Catholic News Service’s expanded television coverage of the Vatican.  And, in perhaps the least important, but most covered move, a Twitter account was opened in the pontiff’s name (@Pontifex, which in Latin means both bridge and pope). But none of these moves changed the fact that the Catholic Church is woefully out of date in the digital age of instant...

With Putin Back as President, Media Play the Cold War Card May07

With Putin Back as President, Media Play the Cold ...

As Vladimir V. Putin once again assumes the Russian presidency, the expectation in the Western media appears to be that Putin will set a markedly different tone from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev—one that torpedoes Russia’s re-set with the U.S., and infuses the countries’ relationship with a Soviet-style tension. After the Cold War ended in 1991, a new era of reconciliation between the two two superpowers began haltingly under President Boris Yeltsin.  Then, the 21st century brought the first Putin presidency and with it old fears of the Cold War. The ascension to the presidency of his more diplomatic partner Medvedev between 2008...

Russian media grapples with Syria

A small group of men armed with AK47s and hand-grenades attacks a government held checkpoint on a road that leads into the Syrian city of Homs.  One of their charges, a 23-year-old mechanic named Fouad Khashan, is shot and rushed to hospital. He dies en route. This story and the accompanying video came from a report by CBS’s Clarissa Ward in early February. Such images have been playing a critical role in influencing American public opinion about the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. So what then of the commensurate reports in Russia? Since Russia’s veto of the U.N. resolution to declare the al-Assad regime illegitimate,...

A Trojan Bailout? Examining Media Coverage of the Greek Debt Crisis May06

A Trojan Bailout? Examining Media Coverage of the ...

Eurozone countries formally approved Greece’s financial bailout in mid-March after weeks of negotiations. An integral part of the bailout deal was a bond swap in which 85 percent of Greek bondholders – among them French, German and British banks — agreed to a ‘haircut,’ or loss, of 75 percent of their original investment in Greek bonds. The bond swap overnight cut 100 billion euros from Greece’s 368 billion euro debt burden, but the bailout — Greece’s second in since 2010 — had heavy strings attached. Greece had to agree to severe austerity measures over the coming years, and to having its financial affairs...