In this week's global media show, The Listening Post, Stephen Cole reports on how the battle for Pakistan's Red Mosque, played out as a battle for the Pakistani media.
| Pakistan army troops near the Red mosque [AFP] |
We report on whether political memoirs are the best way to remember our politicians. Plus the killer badgers of Baghdad.
In this week's News Divide, we look at the bloody end to the siege of Lal Masjid, the Red Mosque, in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.
After months of increasing tension the decision was taken by Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president, to storm the mosque and a bloody gun battle ensued with militants, security forces and at least one media worker being killed.
But how close was the media allowed to get to this dramatic finale? After dramatic pictures of fighting between security forces and the mosque's pro-Taliban supporters hit Pakistan TV on day one of the crisis, the government decided to move journalists back.
Official efforts to limit press access contrasted with the media tactics of head cleric Abdul Ghazi, who gave regular telephone press conferences from inside the mosque.
Musharraf has faced growing criticism in the media over the lawyer crisis that followed the sacking of the chief justice in March this year. Some critics have suggested the end of the siege was timed to draw attention away from this constitutional controversy.
Also in the programme we look at political memoirs. Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former press secretary, has just published his eagerly anticipated diaries, giving an insider view on key moments in recent British history, including the build up to war in Iraq.
We speak to Labour peer and writer Roy Hattersley about the best kinds of political biography, and to Saddam Hussein biographer, Said Aburish, about getting inside the mind of a tyrant.
In Newsbytes, we look at the other big media stories this week: Documentary maker and Bush-bashing polemicist Michael Moore gets heated while defending his latest movie, Sicko.
There is trouble at the BBC over faking a row with the Queen and the killer badgers on the rampage in Basra.
Last but not least is our internet video of the week. The hot gadget of the moment is the iPhone, but one new owner was less concerned with the high-tech features, and more excited by the pressing question 'Will it blend?' See the results here.
Watch this episode of The Listening Post here:
This episode of The Listening Post aired from 20 July 2007.
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Source: Al Jazeera