On our show this week, we look at reporting in Sri Lanka as the country nears a presidential election and reporting on Eritrea from outside.

Sri Lanka is one of those media stories we keep going back to here at The Listening Post - and for good reason.

There was last year's final chapter in the civil war - in which the media were largely locked out of the battle zone. There was that video that appeared on the Internet - showing government soldiers executing Tamil prisoners. There was the newspaper editor shot and killed who, it turned out, predicted his own murder and, in an editorial published posthumously, accused the country's president of being responsible for his death.

And now, that president, Mahinda Rajapaksa and the military man who led Sri Lankan forces to victory against Tamil rebels, are facing off in an election that will determine who will lead the next government in Colombo.

Our starting point this week is the media story in Sri Lanka; is there free and fair coverage of the election campaign, and how can there be, when journalists are still getting death threats just for doing their jobs.

In part two of The Listening Post, we take a look at a country we reported on last year - Eritrea.

The African state that has become a black hole for journalism. The media rights group Reporters Without Borders says the news media - both foreign and domestic - have it worse in Eritrea than any other country on the planet.

The control by the state is tight; the conditions for reporters who break the rules are dangerous.

In our previous story, The Listening Post's Sinead O'Shea went into Eritrea undercover. This week, in her second report, she looks at efforts that are being made outside of the country to make sure that people inside Eritrea - and around the world - know what is happening.

In this week's Newsbytes:

Rupert Murdoch's son-in-law attacks Fox News' president and Sarah Palin joins the channel, meanwhile a journalist working in Myanmar is arrested, Britain loses its first journalist to the war in Afghanistan and an unusual TV reunion of a Guantanamo Bay guard and two captives.

Finally, every once in a while we check in with theonion.com - an American humour website that satirises the people who report the news as much as it satirises the people who make news.

This week's offering is from theonion's mock morning news show. It is a fake news story on an archaeological find that was supposedly made online - a lost civilisation of social networkers - the idea being that certain technological fads might not be with us for long. It is our web video of the week.

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

Source: Al Jazeera