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Listening Post
Drums of war: The US media's 'Iranian threat'
We examine US coverage of Iran and ask if a culture of journalism has emerged that ignores the dangers of conjecture.
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2012 13:11

On Listening Post this week: Beating the drum for war - the US media and 'The Iranian Threat'. Plus, the burgeoning media scene in post-revolutionary Libya.

Something sounds familiar. 'Long-range nuclear missiles', 'terrorist sleeper cells', 'WMDs': terms which quickly became part of the media's vocabulary in the run up to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. Fast-forward to 2012 and they are featuring heavily once again, only now it is not about Iraq, but Iran. Last time, the media's saber-rattling followed the Bush administration's lead in selling the attack on Iraq. This time, the so-called 'Iranian Threat' is a narrative being constructed by the US media all by itself - with scant public support from the Obama administration. Our News Divide this week takes a close look at the coverage of Iran and a culture of journalism that seems to have forgotten the very real dangers of hypothesis and conjecture.

In our News Bytes this week: Two international journalists become the latest victims in the Syrian uprising; Rupert Murdoch announces the launch of his new Sunday tabloid in the UK; New CCTV footage reveals the extent of an attack on a Mexican newspaper last year; and an edition of a Spanish newspaper is banned in Morocco for containing a caricature of King Mohammed VI.

For more than 40 years, the media in Libya served as a propaganda tool for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. But the revolution has brought change not just to the country's leadership, but also to its media environment. Over the past year, Libyans have seen an explosion in brand new media outlets. At least 120 print outlets have sprung up, as well as fresh alternatives on TV and radio. Meanwhile, a new generation of Libyan journalists are enjoying their newfound freedom of expression despite the lack of training and infrastructure. In this week's feature, Listening Post's Flo Phillips examines the flourishing media scene in Libya and the challenges that lie ahead.

The latest homemade video to be speeding around the internet is a film by Argentinean filmmaker, Fernando Livschitz which makes his homeland's capital, Buenos Aires, look like an amusement park. The budding director managed to cut scenes from a funfair into shots of the city to make it look like the revellers were coasting their way around town. Our dreamlike Internet Video of the Week is called Inception Park and - in our opinion - is just as impressive as the Hollywood blockbuster. 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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