Did the media present Palestinians who crossed into
Egypt as bargain hunters?

This week on The Listening Post, Richard Gizbert examines the coverage of the breach of the wall between Gaza and Rafah, Egypt. Why is it that when the Berlin Wall fell, coverage themes centered on freedom and liberty, but when Palestinians poured into Egypt, the media tended to characterise thousands of Palestinians as bargain hunters?

Among the contributors to the Gaza story is Ahdaf Soueif, an Egyptian author, who tells us that the Gaza/Rafah incident provided the media with the perfect opportunity to talk about walls and their impact on people and politics, but it simply did not happen.

Our second feature this week focuses on the media coverage of the upcoming presidential elections in Serbia, and the emergence of a hardline nationalist in the Milosevic mould, Tomaslav Nikolic. Nikolic's rise has forced the domestic media in Serbia to confront, once again, the fallout from the civil wars that racked the former Yugoslavia throughout the 1990s.

Iran's most popular women's magazine has
been shut down by the government
The election story has also attracted the attention of the international news media, which had largely lost interest in the Serbian story since the extradition of Slobodan Milosevic to The Hague and his trial for war crimes. There is real tension between the domestic and international media in Serbia, since journalists are among many Serbs who feel that the international coverage of the civil wars was unfair, demonising the country and its people.

Our Newsbytes this week touch on reporting restrictions in Iran, where the country's most popular magazine for women has been shutdown by the government, and in Myanmar, where critics of the military government are using imaginative techniques to get their message across. We have got a funny Newsbyte, funny unless you work for the Sunday times in the UK, on the perils of spell check tools on computers. And there are efforts underway in the US to sideline one of the country's best known, and most listened to, anti-Muslim radio voices.

And what do you get when you mash-up video from the American Idol franchise and that somewhat odd appearance Tom Cruise made in a Scientology video? You get The Listening Post's internet video of the week.

Watch part one of this episode of The Listening Post

Watch part two of this episode of The Listening Post

This episode of The Listening Post aired on Friday, February 01, 2008
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