This week on Listening Post: Propaganda wars escalate as the crisis in Libya rumbles on and Belgium's media divisions reflect a divided country that is still struggling to form a government.
When protests first began in Libya the media presence there was scarce so the story filtered out via social media thanks to courageous citizen journalists. Then, when the fighting intensified, global media numbers increased exponentially. Now there are hoards of international news teams camped out with rebel forces or reporting from the country's capital and Gaddafi stronghold, Tripoli.
There is a cacophony of competing narratives coming out of Libya. From propaganda on the country's state-run broadcaster, to propaganda on rebel-controlled radio, to international reporting with a clear agenda, it is enough to make your head spin. Our News Divide this week starts in Benghazi, the centre of the Libyan uprising and a key battleground in the war of words and images in the media.
Bits and pieces from the world of media: New rules for foreign journalists in China in the wake of the "Jasmine Revolutions"; several journalists in Turkey are arrested and charged with planning to overthrow the government; two more of Rupert Murdoch's UK newspapers are implicated in the News of the World phone hacking scandal and Italy’s state-run broadcaster refuses to air the trailer of a new film about Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
It took Iraq 289 days to form a government. Belgium will break that record if politicians there do not put aside their differences by the end of the month. The problem lies with the ethnic divide in the country. The north is mostly populated by Dutch-speaking Flemish Belgians and the majority in the south are French speakers known as Walonians. That divide is reflected in the media which many Belgians say exacerbates the political situation. Listening Post's Caroline Bodin went to Brussels to see what effect the country's polarised media is having on its parliamentary problems.
With all the animated speeches Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, has been giving, it was only a matter of time until one of his rants went viral. He recently used the Arabic phrase "ZengaZenga" – which roughly translated means "each and every street or alley". Gaddafi wanted his supporters to search those alleys and root out rebel forces but an Israeli musician saw the lighter side of it, auto-tuned it, dropped in a techno beat and posted it online. With more than three million hits on YouTube and counting, it had to be our Web Video of the Week. We hope you enjoy the show.
This episode of Listening Post aired from Saturday, March 12, 2011.
Source: Al Jazeera