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Listening Post

Media 'vultures': Covering life and death

We examine the global media's swing from impending death in South Africa to anticipated birth in the UK.

Last Modified: 27 Jul 2013 14:30
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It was what the industry calls an “eight-step event” because that is how high a photographer has to climb to get a decent shot. For weeks, reporters camped outside a closed door and speculated on the name of a yet-to-be-born prince. Coverage of the royal birth was so exhausting for some that the UK’s Guardian website offered a “republican” button to turn off all news of the arrival of the newborn prince.

But just days before, the media horde had encircled another hospital thousands of miles away in Pretoria, South Africa. There, reporters, TV crews and paparazzi awaited the end of a life that represented another kind of nobility – that of Nelson Mandela. His family complained of media “vultures” but for the global press, it was anticipation with no payoff and the news cycle turned to another stage in the circle of life.

Our News Divide tracks the global media’s swing from impending death to anticipated birth. We speak to CBC Foreign Correspondent Susan Ormiston; Catherine Mayer, Europe editor for Time Magazine; NOS (Netherlands) correspondent Arjen Van Der Horst; and Stefano Radaelli, senior researcher for Media Tenor (South Africa).

Newsbytes this week: A reader’s ombudsman in Turkey gets the axe for criticising media and the government over protest coverage; Zimbabwe gets a new TV station but President Robert Mugabe will not be tuning in; and in Mexico, another reporter falls in the line of duty.
 
In our feature: Sixty years ago this week North and South Korea called a truce to end their war but uneasy peace has left not only a demilitarised zone but an information blockade. The Listening Post’s Gouri Sharma investigates citizen journalist defectors who help shed light on a shuttered nation.

Our web video of the week stays with Korea, coming courtesy of the South Korean Air Force. They call on their musical talents for a parody of the movie musical “Les Misérables”. A South Korean airman channels Jean Valjean while his lover, Cosette, tries to convince him to abandon his endless mission to clear snow from the runway. Praying for spring, we bring you “Les Militaribles”.

 
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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