Covering ISIS

Only a handful of journalists have gone into ISIS territory and come out alive to report about it. The group’s brutal tactics and its history of violence against journalists mean that most of what the world learns about ISIS, and about life inside the territory it controls, comes from nontraditional reporting – often citizen journalism videos, photos, and dispatches. ISIS itself actively uses social media networks to promote its ideas and to recruit supporters. Twitter has long been a favored ISIS platform, though in early February Twitter announced it had suspended more than 125,000 accounts for ISIS-related promotions of terrorism...

Egypt caught between two narratives

As four Al Jazeera staffers sit behind bars in Egypt, an international campaign to free them is underway. From Berlin to Kabul, hundreds of journalists have protested worldwide calling for their freedom. In Cairo, however, there wasn’t much sympathy for the arrested journalists. On the contrary, many Egyptians cheered on the authorities and their crackdown against the Qatari-owned network. “A bullet might kill a man, but a lying camera kills a nation,” read a poster plastered on a wall near Al Jazeera’s office in Cairo. A photo of a hand dripping blood above the familiar Al Jazeera logo accompanied the chilling quote. The poster...

Behind the Secrecy Shroud in North Korea Mar11

Behind the Secrecy Shroud in North Korea

North Korea is a country so shrouded in secrecy that even the most seemingly implausible stories can sometimes get traction in the news media.  “We know so little about what really happens inside the country, and especially inside the leader’s head, that very little is disprovable,” wrote Max Fisher of The Washington Post in a January article, examining the story that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had executed his uncle by feeding him to 120 hungry dogs. Fisher’s conclusion: “probably” not true. “There’s no other country to which we bring such a high degree of gullibility,” Fisher wrote. But now, several...

Crossed Wires? How the media in the U.S. and Pakistan are fraying an already rocky relationship. May12

Crossed Wires? How the media in the U.S. and Pakis...

When U.S. Navy Seals slipped through the dark into Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound one year ago, the killing of America’s most wanted man on Pakistani soil set off a tidal wave of media coverage in both countries that helped shape public opinion and complicated already frayed relations between Washington and Islamabad The killing of Osama bin Laden became a media moment in both countries, though one with sharply differing narratives. U.S. media coverage featured triumphant fist pumping outside the White House, recreations of how the Navy Seals found their target, and TV commentators – especially those on the right of the...