Iran: When newsrooms go nuclear
We examine the media coverage of the IAEA report on Iran and the challenges facing reporters in Turkey.
The WMD debacle in Iraq propelled the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) annual report high up the news agenda; in the last few years, the focus has been all about Iran as it draws ever closer to building a nuclear weapon – or does it? Even before the report’s release the media was in overdrive; heavy on rhetoric, light on detail.
Israel has been threatening a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities for months, and the report’s findings were the perfect valediction of their fears. For the US, it was a drum roll for tighter sanctions, particularly after the bizarre story that saw Washington accuse Tehran of plotting to murder a Saudi diplomat on American soil. But for Iran, it was a conspiracy, one that had the Iranian media fighting back with claims the report had been cooked up by their enemies. Our News Divide this week looks at the coverage of a story that has gone nuclear.
This week’s Newsbytes: Chinese Internet firms accept a government request to increase online regulations; a Brazilian cameraman is killed whilst filming a police raid; and a French satirical magazine fights firebombs with “humour”.
Last month, the Kurdish Workers Party PKK attacked and killed 24 Turkish soldiers. The violence hit headlines around the world, but it also highlighted the very different approach Turkish, versus global media, takes when it comes to covering highly politicised stories. In Turkey, there is a tacit obligation that the media follow the government’s wish for the PKK to be referred to as ‘terrorists’. However, global media outlets are not so easily dictated to, and Reuters found itself in the firing line when it continued to refer to the PKK as ‘rebels’. A potential boycott was on the cards, and it was assumed the order had come from the top, but on closer inspection, it seems it did not need to. Listening Post‘s Flo Phillips looks at the media climate in Turkey and the terminology that can draw political heat.
There has been an abundance of media attention around the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the protestors who claim to be ‘the 99%’. But missing from that picture is the one per cent who allegedly controls 43 per cent of the country’s wealth. It was an editorial misbalance spotted by the people at CollegeHumor.com, so they made a video to give a voice to the very wealthy, voiceless. It is called “We are the 1%” and we made it our Internet Video of the Week. We hope you enjoy the show.
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