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Listening Post
Syria: Video, spin and propaganda
As fighting between the Syrian army and anti-government protesters intensifies, so has the information war.
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2012 12:31

On Listening Post this week: Video, spin and propaganda - the escalating Syrian media war. Also, news games: where journalism meets video games.

As the fighting between the Syrian army and anti-government protesters intensifies, so has the information war. The media blackout imposed by Bashar al-Assad's government has meant that global news outlets are still relying heavily on social media activists for information - activists who are hardly impartial.

Now, one of the country's leading opposition factions - the Free Syrian Army (FSA) - is stepping up its media fight. The FSA is made up of rebel officers who defected from the Syrian army last July. As well as producing its own video content, the FSA has been smuggling foreign journalists into the country to help get its side of the story out, some of the same journalists al-Assad has accused of stirring the unrest.

Our News Divide this week looks at the media battle being fought alongside an uprising that is quickly turning into civil war in Syria.
 
In this week's News Bytes: The Bahraini government locks out international journalists on the first anniversary of the uprising there; the BBC accuses the Iranian government of intimidating its journalists as the war of words between London and Tehran continues; Google and Facebook consent to take down material deemed offensive after pressure from the Indian government, and two Ecuadorian journalists are fined for writing a book on the business dealings of President Rafael Correa's elder brother.

When you think of video games, you are more likely to think of war games than war correspondents. But a new genre is bringing the two together and creating a new way to present complex news stories. With its attention to detail and engaging visuals, news-games are becoming an effective tool in reporting a story that does not fit into a regular news package. Listening Post's Nic Muirhead reports on an interactive news experience that is putting players on the frontline.

There was a bit of a spectacle above Manhattan recently. Many New Yorkers were fooled into thinking there was a trio of flying men getting a bird's-eye view of some the city's landmarks. But in reality it was just three remote controlled airplanes. The "human aviation" was filmed and packaged as part of Hollywood's latest viral campaign to promote a film about a group of high school friends with superpowers.

Our Internet Video of the Week is called Flying People in New York City and has racked up more than seven million hits online. 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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Source:
Al Jazeera
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