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THE LISTENING POST
The media and Gaza
What role, if any, should the media play in the event of a man-made disaster?
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2009 07:27 GMT

Watch part two

On The Listening Post this week, the BBC's decision not to air a Gaza appeal and the role the media should play in times of man-made disasters. We also look at the takeover of the London Evening Standard by the Russian billionaire and former KGB agent, Alexander Lebedev.
 
This week in the News Divide: Gaza, the media and what part, if any, news organisations should play when it comes to humanitarian aid.

Israel's war on Gaza has been the top news story of 2009. But now the smoke is starting to clear and aid workers and journalists are allowed back in, attention has turned to helping those who have suffered.

The British Broadcasting Corporation found itself at the heart of a controversy when it chose not to show a televised appeal for the people of Gaza, citing editorial concerns about impartiality. That led to more than 17,000 complaints and calls from religious leaders and politicians to the BBC to change its stance.

What role should the media play in the event of man-made disasters? And does the BBC's impartiality argument hold water?
 
In part two The Listening Post's Meenakshi Ravi looks at how London has come to be the preferred playground of wealthy Russians.

Up until now they have been putting their money into lavish properties and glamorous football teams. That changed with the news that billionaire Alexander Lebedev has bought London's main evening newspaper -  the Evening Standard.

Lebedev is a banking billionaire who shares a KGB background with a certain Vladimir Putin.

With the credit crunch and technological changes ravaging the news business, and with so few buyers out there, media sellers cannot be choosers, leaving the UK media wondering: What is the man with the KGB past up to - and how will that affect the future of the paper?
 
In this week's Newsbytes: The Sri Lankan government stifles coverage of the war with the Tamil Tigers; four news editors have their prison sentences overturned in Egypt; the family of James Miller, the British filmmaker shot and killed by Israeli soldiers, is finally compensated for its loss by the Israeli government and the Indian blogger gagged over his critical blogs of NDTV's coverage of the Mumbai attacks.
 
Finally for our internet video of the week we have grabbed a few of the best ads that aired during the 2009 Super Bowl football game. The event drew 95.4 million viewers and has the most expensive advertising airtime in American television.

This episode of The Listening Post aired from Friday, February 6, 2009.

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