On The Listening Post this week: We use the Russian spy scandal in the US to look at how the media can get sucked into the murky world of espionage and we take a closer look at the media landscape in Macau, 10 years after decolonisation.
When 10 alleged Russian spies were arrested in the US it made front pages around the world. Like most international stories, how those headlines read in the various countries involved, was a story in itself. In the US, news agencies went back to Cold War templates to tell the story.
But in the scramble to file those reports, many journalists neglected to ask some of the fundamental questions relating to the source and timing of this story. Those questions were tackled however, in the Russian media but some of the theoretical motivations given, exposed flaws in their reporting as well.
Our News Divide goes beyond the spoon-fed narrative, the political conspiracies and domestic perspectives to look at the bigger picture and how intelligence agencies are still managing to manipulate the media.
In our Newsbytes this week: The Pentagon issues new rules that will help them control their military's interaction with the media; the Pakistani government proposes a new media law aimed at stopping terrorists being given airtime, but critics fear that it could be used to silence the press; journalists covering the elections in Somaliland get caught up in the violence there and the death toll for journalists in Mexico continues to rise with two more murders.
It has been more than 10 years since Portugal transferred sovereignty of Macau, the last colony in their overseas empire, back to the Chinese. Many there were sceptical about what the transition meant for the region. Freedom of expression has not flourished on the mainland and there was a fear that those controls would be imposed on the media in Macau. On the surface, however, all seems well. There are still laws that guarantee a free press and the Chinese authorities do not appear to be directly influencing editorial policies. However, as our reporter Simon Ostrovsky discovered, there is more to the media landscape in Macau than meets the eye.
Finally, we feature a rap music video as our Internet Video of the Week. In it, the artists wax lyrical about their daily trials and tribulations. You are probably thinking money, guns and gangsters but it its more like mini-vans, pay cheques and play dates. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
This episode of The Listening Post aired from Friday, July 9, 2010.