Listening Post (Al Jazeera)
Bahrain -- Below the radar: The Arab uprising that has failed to capture the international media's attention.
On this week's show: Bahrain - a small kingdom cracking down on the media in a big way. Plus, a look at state media in post-revolution Egypt.
Along with other Arab nations in the region, Bahrain has been facing a period of momentous political upheaval. However, in terms of global news coverage, the story there has received comparatively less media exposure than events in Libya and Syria have in recent weeks and months. One reason is that the Bahraini authorities have learnt from the events in Tunisia and Egypt, reacting quickly to quash any dissent in local media and shutting out many international news organisations.
As the ruling Al-Khalifa family continues its campaign of repression and intimidation against local journalists, global news outlets continue to struggle to cover an uprising on an island that plays an important strategic role in the region. In our News Divide this week, we take a closer look at the draconian media environment imposed by the Bahraini authorities and the challenges and perils of covering an uprising that has literally divided the region along intra-religious lines.
Quick hits from the media world: Two photojournalists become the latest media workers to be killed whilst covering the Libyan uprising; three of the Al Jazeera camera crew detained in Libya have been released but one remains in custody, his whereabouts unknown; US diplomatic cables obtained by Wikileaks reveal that the state department has been funding a Syrian political opposition group and a TV station it runs; journalists covering the elections in Nigeria face intimidation and harassment despite promises of a safe reporting environment; and the Pentagon finds no wrongdoing on the part of former US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal in the wake of Rolling Stone's expose.
During the Egyptian revolution, the state media served as the mouthpiece for the ailing dictator and consistently offered Egyptians a distorted view of the protests around the country. But with Hosni Mubarak gone, what now for an industry he so tightly controlled? In our feature Listening Post's Simon Ostrovsky went to Cairo to see how the state media is developing and asks if it can live up to the democratic ideals that took down its former ruler.
To Watch "Bahrain: Below the Radar"
Reporting the Egyptian revolution: Journalists were arrested and had their equipment seized, but they battled on to provide coverage of the unrest.
Omar Suleiman's announcement that Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, was to step down was watched across the globe. It was a response to protests that reached their peak last week. As the protests intensified, so did the attacks on journalists covering them. Reporters have been detained or arrested and equipment has been seized as the Egyptian regime stepped up its efforts to suppress the information seeping out of the country. But journalists and the online community battled on, providing up-to-date coverage as events unfolded. Even the track that we use was born out of this revolution. Created by artists Omar Offendum and Sami Matar, it brought together a number of musicians in homage to the Egyptian people.
Meanwhile, the US media were not quite sure what to do with the story, struggling to report on a country and a leader seen as a key US ally while their own reporters were amongst those attacked by those loyal to Mubarak. In our News Divide this week we go back to Egypt where we look at the media's role in a revolution that sent shock waves across the Middle East and beyond.
In our News Bytes this week: Former Israeli soldier, Anat Kamm, pleads guilty to leaking classified military documents to a Ha'aretz reporter; the Guardian newspaper's Moscow correspondent is refused entry into Russia in the wake of his coverage of Vladimir Putin, the prime minister; former MSNBC anchor, Keith Olbermann takes his act to Current TV; new media website Huffington Post merges with media giant AOL; and News Corp releases its much anticipated iPad-only newspaper.
The media loves an anniversary story. It gives journalists the chance to revisit a big news event and see how it has developed. That just happened in Haiti - on January 12 last year the impoverished island nation was devastated by an earthquake. Droves of reporters, producers and film crews parachuted in to cover that story, and they have done so again to mark its anniversary. But the ensuing coverage has left many Haitians frustrated with the attention span of the international media. The Listening Post's Jason Mojica's report looks at the international media preoccupation with one side of the story and the local media's inability to cover the other.
Super Bowl Sunday is a big day in a lot people's calendars, but as eagerly as they anticipate the result, we wait for half-time ads to go viral. We feature our three favourite in our Web Video of the Week. From Darth Vader junior's "supernatural" powers, to an allergic cat to an emailing faux pas - they are all very entertaining, but we will let you decide whether they live up to the multi-million dollar airtime slot.
To Watch "Reporting the Egyptian Revolution"