Pervez Musharraf, the president of the
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
In this week's Listening Post, Richard Gizbert focuses on the media in Pakistan in the run up to next month's presidential elections. In Russia, the press disputes a verdict of suicide in the death of Ivan Safronov and the 'noddy' falls out of favour in Britain's newsrooms.

We start in Pakistan this week, where the domestic media is gearing up for the elections. President Pervez Musharraf grabbed the headlines with his announcement that he would resign as army chief if he is re-elected in October. The domestic press debated whether or not the Supreme Court would allow a head of army to stand for election.

Since Musharraf came to power in 1999, Pakistan's media landscape has changed dramatically. The new president styled himself as a moderniser and opened up the airwaves from one state-run television station to 26 new channels. But recently many of those networks have grown critical of the president. And in turn the government has cracked down on offending stations.

The domestic media in Pakistan is gearing up
for the elections
Next month's presidential elections will be the acid test for media freedoms under Musharraf. But the genie may well be out of the bottle and it could be too late for the government or military to try and put it back.

Our other story is the intense debate surrounding the 'noddy'. That's the cutaway shot of a reporter in a television interview nodding in agreement. It is used to cover an edit in the audio and is often filmed after the interview has taken place.

David Kermode, the head of Five News in the UK argues that the noddy is outmoded and fake and has banned it from the newsroom.

In Newsbytes, we look at the other big media stories this week. The official verdict on the mysterious death of Russian journalist Ivan Safronov was announced. The courts claimed it was suicide, but Safronov's newspaper, Kommersant, claim the ruling does not make sense. At the time of his death, Safronov was writing about secret arms deals involving Russia, Syria and Iran. Up to 13 journalists have died in Russia in contract style killings since 2000 when Putin came to power.

Last but not least, our internet video of the week, it is a satirical sketch show from Pakistan called The Real News. They have got a lot to say about Iran, the US, Israel and nuclear politics.

Watch this episode of The Listening Post here:
Part 1:

Part 2:


This episode of The Listening Post aired from 21st September 2007

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