Watch part two

We start our show with the release of the jailed American journalist, Roxana Saberi, by an Iranian court this past week. It led to a torrent of celebratory news stories across the US media.

After Saberi's arrest in January, her case became a cause celebre and a potentially dicey issue in the diplomatic rapprochement that could be taking place between Iran and the American government under Barack Obama.

The Saberi case - and the coverage of it - raises questions about the disparity between the American media's coverage of her story and that of journalists detained without trial by the US in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

Reuters, the Associated Press and Al Jazeera have all had journalists arrested and held for prolonged periods by the US – without trial. So where is the coverage of their stories.

That is our focus this week - the media, and the double standard that is in play when the US puts journalists behind bars and keeps them there.

In part two The Listening Post's Meenakshi Ravi reports on the war in Sri Lanka.

Thousands of civilians are now trapped in a small pocket of land, under siege for several weeks while the world's media are refused entry to the war zone on so-called safety grounds.

In northern Sri Lanka 50,000 Tamils are reported to be caught up in the fighting between Sri Lankan government army forces and the Tamil Tigers.

Just as the war is reaching a critical phase, the Sri Lankan government has banned the media from the battle zone, so we cannot even tell you how many casualties there are.

For journalists covering the story, there has been more than just the conventional war to follow. Our report will dissect the intense propaganda battle and the media that are both observers and victims in the information war.

In this week's Newsbytes: the report on media violations in Gaza and the West Bank. Radio France International gets shut down in the Congo. The PR rebuttal video from Chevron. New York Times reporter, David Barstow wins the Pulitzer for excellence in journalism and the Wikipedia obituary hoax.

The Closed Zone is a short, but clever piece of animation that takes Israel's closure of Gaza and makes a plea for the freedom of the people there.

One of the things that makes it noteworthy is that the filmmakers are Israeli. One of them, Yoni Goodman, worked on the award winning feature length animation, Waltz with Bashir, released last year.

Watch carefully - the film does not just criticise Israel, one of the hands you will see in it is clearly Egyptian – blocking access to the Rafah border crossing.

The Closed Zone is a testament to the political power of animation, and it is our internet video of the week.

This episode of The Listening Post aired from Friday, May 15, 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera