Listening Post
Egypt: Revolution revisited
The ongoing revolution in Egypt has widened the gulf between state and private media.
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2011 10:02

On Listening Post this week: Egypt's ongoing revolution - and the widening gulf between state and private media. Plus, a Chilean TV drama brings back memories of the Pinochet era.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians have returned to Tahrir Square in a violent stand-off with the country's interim military rulers, who have vowed to go ahead with parliamentary elections despite protesters' demands for them to step down. And like the coverage of the mass protests that brought down Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, earlier this year, these protests have been getting a rough ride on state-owned television.

But nine months on, Egypt's media landscape is no longer the same. A range of private news channels have now emerged, reporting different sides of the story. Our News Divide this week looks at the tale of one country, one capital city, one square – and how it is being told in a multiplicity of conflicting narratives.

In our Newsbytes this week: The government of Jacob Zuma, the South African president, moves a step closer to passing its controversial Protection of Information Bill; Iran's top media advisor is sentenced to one year in prison for his involvement in various critical reports; Vladamir Putin, the Russian prime minister gets a frosty reception at a martial arts fight – but that is not how it was presented on state-owned media; and a new poll shows that a large percentage of Fox News viewers are less informed than people who do not watch TV.

Next month will mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean president. During his 18-year rule, thousands of Chileans were murdered or had gone missing. But due to tight censorship, it was a story the country's media failed to expose. Chile returned to democracy in 1990, but the media have been reluctant to touch on the thorny issues of the country's past, until recently. Over the past few months, Chileans have been tuning into a TV drama dealing with the military dictatorship.

Los Archivos de Cardinal – The Cardinal's Archives – tells the story of a team of lawyers working with the Catholic church to expose the torture and killings carried out by Pinochet's regime - and it has provoked a fierce debate about the role of public broadcasting, in what remains a deeply polarised society. The Listening Post's Marcela Pizarro takes a look at the slick TV thriller that tells the story the Chilean media has tended to avoid.

Balkan Beat Box is a band that formed in New York City but its members are mostly Israeli and its influences range from Jamaican dub, to Gypsy, to Arabic music. Their latest music video – that is profane as it is political – shows the band has some other influences as well. The title, and the song, contains one of those words you cannot say on television so we will just call it our Internet Video of the Week. We hope you enjoy the show.

Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

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