The Listening Post looks at how the Russia-Georgia conflict played out in the media [GALLO/GETTY]
This week on The Listening Post, we cast a critical eye on the six-day conflict between Georgia and Russia over the disputed territory of South Ossetia. We assess how the two protagonists in this drama have used the media to win the battle for hearts and minds and make their case on the global stage.

On the one hand, we see how the English-speaking, media-savvy Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, has been wooing the western media. And on the other hand, we witness how the Russian media has mobilised its own media army, in the form of its various 24-hour news networks, in a counter attack.

In part two, The Listening Post's Meenakshi Ravi reports on Shooting Back. It is a project organised by Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem which gives cameras to Palestinians in the West Bank and enables them to document their daily experiences and hardships encountered whilst living under occupation.

Thanks to a remarkable piece of footage, taken by a young Palestinian girl earlier this year, depicting a Palestinian civil rights protester being shot in the foot with a rubber bullet by an Israeli soldier, the project's efforts have made headlines. We speak to representatives of the organisation and ponder on the news value of the footage recorded by the B'Tselem's band of amateur camera-people.

Our regular Newsbytes section is back this week. We begin in China, where it was reported that some of the breath-taking fireworks that were beamed to over 3 billion viewers world-wide, were actually computer-generated images. We revisit Belarus, where a new law that curbs press freedoms has just come into effect. We learn how a popular Turkish soap opera, called Noor, is causing controversy in Saudi Arabia. And, finally, we see how celebrities have taken centre stage in the media war between US presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.

Finally, our Video of the Week, this week is a nod to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which are in full swing now. With talk of China's dubious human rights record threatening to overshadow coverage of the games themselves, the excellent satirical Onion News TV poses the question: Are the Olympics a trap?

Watch Part One of this show

Watch Part Two of this show

This episode of The Listening Post aired from Friday, August 15, 2008


Source: Al Jazeera