On The Listening Post this week: The video that sparked a thousand headlines - ISIL leader al-Baghdadi on tape for only the second time ever. Plus, journalism gets the reality TV treatment.

The return of ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

It was a long time between on-camera appearances. The world's most wanted man, ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has surfaced for the first time since 2014.

The last time the world saw him, al-Baghdadi was triumphant, crowing over the territory the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group had captured in Syria and Iraq.

His forces have since been routed and thousands of fighters are either locked up, on the run, or dead.

ISIL's media output has always been central to the movement, however, as times have changed for ISIL, its output and its media messaging have changed.

Contributors
Lydia Wilson - research fellow, Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict, Oxford University
Mia Bloom - professor of communications, Georgia University
Aymenn Jawad Al Tamimi - researcher on ISIL and founder, Islamicstatearchives.com
Hassan Abu Haniyeh - researcher on Islamic groups

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Flo Phillips about the Maduro government's attempt to control the narrative on Venezuela, both online and on the air.

An unlikely mix: Journalism and reality TV

Reality TV has a format - a proven formula - that works for aspiring singers, dancers or chefs. Then someone came up with an idea: Why not try it with young, would-be journalists? Take students from various journalism courses and have them compete, see who can do the best investigative reporting. We have a winner.

Journalism reality TV shows are currently airing in three countries - Armenia, Kenya, and Bolivia. They offer young reporters the practical training their studies may lack and they remind viewers - at a time when trust in the media is at an all-time low - of the importance of investigative journalism to any democracy.

The Listening Post's Johanna Hoes reports.

Contributors
Joseph Warungu - creator, Top Story
Karen Andreasyan - creator, Journalistic Battles
Lisa Essex - European Journalism Center and judge on Top Story and Journalistic Battles
Janet Mbugua Ndichu - journalist and judge and mentor on Top Story

Source: Al Jazeera News