Video Duration 24 minutes 59 seconds
From: The Listening Post

Brussels attacks: Hijacking terror for political points

A look at the coverage of the Brussels attacks and the politics behind it; plus, the red lines in Morocco’s media.

On Tuesday, Brussels became the second capital city in Western Europe in less than four months to experience a deadly bomb attack.

Like the Paris attacks, the story attracted wall-to-wall coverage. But also like Paris, the reporting raised the question: Why does the media focus so heavily on this story when equally deadly attacks occur in Ankara, Bamako and Baghdad?

In the second wave of media coverage came the political spin – the news anchors, pundits and politicians who have used the attacks in Brussels to advance their own agendas.

Discussion quickly turned to the perceived threat of the refugees – despite the two suicide bombers being Belgian nationals – and in the US it even revived the debate around torture.

To talk us through the coverage of the Brussels attacks and the politics behind it are: Habib Battah, editor of The Beirut Report; Jack Mirkinson, a reporter at Salon; Myria Georgiou, a media professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science; and Rudi Vranckx, a correspondent at Belgian state broadcaster VRT.

On our radar this week: A Ukrainian pilot has been found guilty by a Russian court of complicity in the killing of two Russian journalists in Eastern Ukraine; media analysts in Kenya suspect that the country’s leading newspaper is purging journalists ahead of next year’s election; and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg does the rounds in China.

Morocco’s red line: Media vs monarchy

This past week, seven journalists were to go on trial in Morocco on charges ranging from “threatening state security” to “failing to report foreign financing”.

Five years ago, when the Arab Spring threatened to spread to Morocco, King Mohammed VI quelled the unrest by promising reforms and delivering a new constitution that guaranteed, among other things, freedom of expression.

While Morocco has media laws that protect certain freedoms, the wording of those laws is so vague, and the possible interpretations so broad, that any reporting that crosses the line by offending the king, his political officials, national security questions, and the status of Western Sahara can land journalists in trouble.

The Listening Post’s Flo Philips reports on on the red tape reporters have to deal with and the future of journalism in Morocco.

Ten years ago, Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey posted the first-ever tweet. It read: “just setting up my twttr.” Since then the micro-blogging website has become a social media phenomenon boasting more than 320 million active users and more than a billion unique visits a month.

Twitter has also broken some big news stories in just 140 characters. We end the show with a compilation of what we think have been some of the most important tweets over the past decade.