Watch part two

Media 'hotspots' are the places where a free press is almost non-existent and independent media are either silenced by government forces, overpowered by state-owned broadcasters, or shut out of conflict zones, unable to report the story at all.

We start this week's report with a look back at the coverage from Gaza - the media blockade, and the spin from within the war zone that was designed to mask the truth.

This year also saw Sudan and the conflict in Darfur back in the media spotlight.

When the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, for war crimes, media coverage of the story was divided.

The Arab world's reporting talked about the court's double standards, one set of rules for an Arab-African leader and another for Western politicians.

But with the world's media almost entirely shut out of Sudan and the Sudanese government picking up their PR game, where do the facts end and the speculation begin about what is really happening in the troubled Darfur region?

We also take you behind the coverage and the spin with five things you need to know about the Sudanese media.

Journalists struggled to tell both sides of the story in Sri Lanka 
In part two of our show, we turn our attention to Sri Lanka and the struggle that journalists faced when trying to tell both sides of the story during the recent conflict and its aftermath.

As the Sri Lankan government claimed final victory over the Tamil Tiger movement, a separate battle with the media was also being played out that saw censorship, intimidation and news blackouts become the norm.

While reporting from the island was a struggle for the international media, Sri Lankan journalists also came under fire from the authorities, for speaking out against their government's military action.

Our report will also look at the attacks against independent voices in Sri Lanka, and the influence of the government on the country's media outlets.

Next week on our special feature series on media "hotspots", we will look at the steps the North Korean authorities are taking to control their media image.

This episode of The Listening Post airs from Friday, July 24, 2009, at the following times GMT: Friday: 1230; Saturday: 1030, 2230; Sunday: 0300, 1930; Monday: 0030; Tuesday: 0630, 1630; Wednesday: 0130, 1430; Thursday: 0330, 2330.

Source: Al Jazeera