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THE LISTENING POST
The China Google debate
We also talk to journalist Maziar Bahari about his experiences inside an Iranian prison.
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2010 12:13 GMT

On The Listening Post this week, we follow the repercussions of Google's exit from China and talk to journalist Maziar Bahari about his experiences inside an Iranian prison. 

Last week Google officially left China. It was a relationship that many thought was doomed from the start. Part of Google's deal with China back in 2006 was that they agree to Beijing's rules and censor their website.

The Internet giant came under heavy criticism for that deal which was considered to be out of step with the companies corporate motto, "Don't be evil". The final straw came when Google accused the Chinese authorities of hacking into their server.

They pulled out of China citing censorship and security reasons but the Chinese authorities accused the American company of politicising the Internet. That is where we start the show, Chinese cyberspace and how Google's pull-out will affect the flow of information in, and from, the world's most populous country.

Maziar Bahari

In the second part of our show we talk in depth to Maziar Bahari, an Iranian-Canadian journalist who worked for Newsweek magazine in Tehran.

We have extensively covered the state of the media in Iran, especially since the disputed election last year that led to a major clampdown on the media.

One of the measures taken by the Iranian authorities was to jail journalists who they considered to be spreading dissent. Bahari was one of those journalists.

During his 118 days in prison he says that he was constantly interrogated and even tortured. We caught up with him after his speech at the annual awards ceremony for the Index on Censorship. 

He gave us his thoughts on the state of the media in Iran, the impact of new media there, his time in jail and the fake news show his captors thought was real.

In this week's Newsbytes: Rupert Murdoch announces that he will charge readers for access to the Times (UK) website by June this year; the injunction in Israel that kept a journalist's house arrest out of the media; more journalists are killed in Honduras and the unsavoury web video in Russia that appears set up to discredit government critics.

For our web video of the week we have an online choir assembly that has been getting hundreds of thousands of hits on the web. Eric Whitacre is an American composer who specialises in choral music. He says he went online last year, heard someone signing one of his pieces on youtube and was moved by it. This is the video that came from it but instead of one person singing his song, he got 100. 

This episode of The Listening Post can be seen from Friday, April 2, 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
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