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Listening Post
The citizen journalists challenging al-Assad
The chilling story of the social media activist who dared to denounce the Syrian regime to a foreign media outlet.
Last Modified: 27 May 2012 12:51

Challenging al-Assad: The citizen journalists who dare to talk to foreign media outlets. Plus, watching old news anew - how far have we come?

Mohammed Abdel-Mawla al-Hariri is a Syrian social media activist who, like many others before him, gave an interview to Al Jazeera's Arabic news channel to denounce the al-Assad regime. But the interview looks set to be his last. Shortly after giving it, he was reportedly taken from his home, tortured and charged with 'high treason and contacts with foreign parties'. The Syrian government allegedly sentenced him to death.

This case is significant because of the chilling effect it may have on opponents of the government and its potential impact on the flow of information coming out of the country. Around the same time, Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, spoke to a Russian TV channel and conceded that his government lost the media war the day the uprising began. In this week's News Divide, we look at the case of a Syrian activist and what the consequences will be for news coverage on Syria.

In this week's News Bytes: two media barons stake their claim in the newspaper industry; a prominent journalist in Honduras is found murdered; the situation for journalists in Mexico deteriorates as another journalist is found killed; and why was a Pakistani student filmmaker denied a visa to the US?

This week's feature is slightly out of the box for Listening Post. We are showcasing a newsreel from the 1940s which introduces the audience to what it is like to work in a newsroom. Back then, newsreels were trailers of their day and were shown in cinemas before the feature film. We thought it might be fun to show the newsreel to a few journalists and get their thoughts on what has changed in the news business over the years - and a few things that have not. In this week's feature, Listening Post's Flo Phillips on what life used to be like inside a newsroom.

From old media to new. We close the show with a celebration of one of the most popular websites to emerge in the past few years. Back in 2005, three friends set up a site so they could share videos with each other. The result was Youtube. It recently celebrated its seventh birthday and our Video of the Week is its birthday video, a compilation of their greatest hits. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 
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Source:
Al Jazeera
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