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29 Aug 2010 16:29 GMT | US & Canada, China, France, Israel, Lebanon
This week on the Listening Post's radar: the tweet that ended the 20-year career of a CNN journalist and a Russian social networking site that is not for the masses but strictly for those of class.It has been a communication tool in many a recent political protest, it is a PR tool for numerous celebrities, but for Octavia Nasr, CNN's former Senior Middle East Affairs Editor, Twitter was a career-ender. A tweet expressing her sorrow following Lebanese Shia cleric Ayatollah Fadlallah's death set off a storm amongst many conservative and pro-Israel groups in America. Sheikh Fadlallah's opposition to Israel's occupation of South Lebanon, his ties with Hezbollah and his designation as a terrorist by the US government made him hugely controversial in the US. But Ms. Nasr's tweet was a reflection of the respect Sheikh Fadlallah commanded in Lebanon and the wider Arab world for his spiritual learning, his advocacy for women's rights and the influence he had over so many. CNN was not willing to accommodate the nuances of the Ayatollah's persona in its assessment of Ms. Nasr's offending tweet. In our News Divide this week we look at what the firing of Ms. Nasr reveals about CNN and the editorial limitations of reporting in the American media.Rounding up news from the media world with Newsbytes: Google breathes a sigh of relief after China renews its operating license in the country – but the renewal comes at a price. Saudi-owned Rotana Media Group and Murdoch-owned News Corp are to launch an Arab News TV channel that will compete with networks like Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. A news website in France lands Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president in political hot water and the new coalition government in the UK appears to be addressing the country's punitive libel laws.One of Russia's richest oligarchs has created a social networking website that is kind of like Facebook only a lot harder to join. It is an exclusive network of talented, successful and wealthy Russian citizens handpicked by editors of the suitably named SNOB website. But catching the eye of the editors is not enough to gain admission to SNOB. You have to be recommended by two existing members as well. We sent one of reporters to Russia to see if he could get into this highbrow club. Join the Listening Post's Simon Ostrovsy as he meets a few of SNOB's members, finds out what it takes to join and sees if he can secure those two elusive recommendations.This week our Internet Video of the Week is one of those stop motion videos that makes you wonder how on earth they found the time, paint and patience to do all that. Watch the shadows in some of the shots to see what a laborious task it must have been. Enjoy the show!This episode of The Listening Post can be seen from Friday, July 16, at the following times GMT: Friday: 1230; Saturday: 1030, 2230; Sunday: 1930; Tuesday: 0630; Wednesday: 0030, 1430; Thursday: 0530.
Source: Al Jazeera
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