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tv   Listening Post  Al Jazeera  November 2, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm EDT

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. >> hello, i'm richard gis berg, and you are at the "listening post." china and the worldwide web. what the authorities are doing to keep rumours in check and the media under control. the philippines - where when journalists are killed, killers are not caught. >> the arge tinian government try to cut a media conglomerrate down to size. and saudi arabia - where the problem with women drivers is
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there aren't any. >> the biggest date on china's political calendar was revealed, 9 november, when the central committee of the communist party convenience in beijing. the question for us is what kind of news coverage will the chinese people see and what do the powers that we have in mind for the future of journalism in china. a year into the leadership. general secretly xi jinping, the government is playing cat and mouse with the media. beijing's control over news media is no doubt. they are struggling to deal with sina weibo, a twitter like feed doubling as a rumour mill. big vs don't just have thousands of followers, they have millions. when they blog about political and social issues word spreads. the propaganda chiefs are dishing out gaol terms to those who start rumours and they spread over the web.
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>> there's a growing problem with corruption in journalism itself in china. as one newspaper "the new express" found out to its peril. the starting point the capital. most populist news-hungry country on the planet - beijing. >> they are aware of the power of the internet. at the same time they try to keep a rein. >> anything to do with ideology, information is under tighter control. >> the government uses the technique to kill the chicken to scare the monkey. >> the government has realised, especially with the emergesens of social media, that media is a battle ground they cannot afford to lose. >> chinese government government
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sen source were in full swing, a vehicle drove into tiananmen square, barrelling into a crowd, killing five injuring dozen more. other than one print report, there was a news blackout for two days before state-run television reported the story as a case of terrorist. >> beijing's public bureau said it was a terrorist attack. >> and thousands of posts were used to stop microblogers reporting the news until the government declared it official. that has been the modus operandi for budget in the first year of xi jinping's leadership. >> translation: since he came to power, the space for people to talk online has been narrowed. some crack downs are violations of the law. some are declared guilty, falsely, and are forced to confess on state-run television.
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that makes people confused and thinking what is the president's intention. the. >> it's unlikely the new president will loosen control over the media. we can see this from what was put forward after he assumed presidency. if you look at the members in the politburo, some of them used to be propaganda officials, and they are not famous for being the most liberal propaganda officials. >> the leader of the party, people pin high hope on xi jinping, and the tone has changed a little. i don't see at the moment that xi jinping will change the media or press. maybe he is tightening his control. in that he nings ideology is important to his party. >> policing what is said and spread on sina weibo is not
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easy. weibo has 500 million users, all in china, twice as map as twitter. last -- many as twitter had. a private run paper says the government has an army of 2 million people patrolling the net. public opinion analysts employed by the communist party. they are the rumour police, backed by a law which punishes anyone who starts a rumour reposted 500 times. a warning was issued in august to chinese web users, from the top, the big v, china's popular bloggers were targeted. beijing used traditional media mechanisms to discredit some of the biggest voices. >> translation: it's said that on august 19th a famous speech was delivered in which activists or opinion leader were to be cracked down on. since then many actions have
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been taken based on the order. this made a lot of bloggers panic, even for those that don't post antigovernment comments. >> in august we saw a lot of high profile bloggers. a well-known blogger has been critical of the government in talking about issues of corruption so on august 23rd he was arrested and made to make a public confession on the television. he upset the government. >> taking the point off those confessions in china's national tv. i think it's controversial point. we have seen five or six big influential cases. at the same time a lot of scholars or lawyers question that it is constitutional, according to a rule of law. it is not. >> another recent matter in
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chinese journalist is "the new express" and its journalist who wrote a piece about core uges at a firm partly opened by the statement. the paper demanded his release in bold headlines only to retract it and fire the editor after the reporter confessed - again on the state-run channel cctv to writing a false story in exchange for bribes. >> this case, i think, is a strong indication that the political power is not the only force undermining journalistic practice. there is also the corrupting force coming from marketisation and the commercialisation. after the confession of the journalist himself, these commercial media, they start to shift the focus to whether it is
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appropriate for him to be confessing on screen, the part of the story they tried to avoid is reflecting on the corruption of media itself. >> in a way china is caught between its maoist past and capitalist presence. you can see that in the devotion to industry that stains the skies, scarring the lungs of its people. there, too, in the media beijing uses soft power to get its story out to the world in english, while cracking down hard on citizens who stray from the official version of events. >> translation: many people think as long as we stay away from politics and improve living standards, it's fine. is our life getting better? for a country to make progress, it's important to lisp to pub -- listen to public opinion. if it's not tolerant of public opinions, it's back to an autoaccuratic era.
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>> china has come a long way and i'm proud of what china achieves. for china to be a modern powerful nation, you need the media transparency. you need to give certain freedom to the media. otherwise the dream will remain a dream, a fantasy. >> our global village voices on journalism coming out of china. >> what is happening is an age-old tactic killing the chickens to scare the monkeys. to punish a few as examples to other. the biggest story here is the stat will be more fearful of the power of local blogging where a local incidents can explode on to the national scope, setting the agenda. >> it's a year since xi jinping
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had been promoted. he has been built up as a great politician, it's not been on display. the big v crackdown and the anti-rumour campaign taking place across the country. hopefully xi jinping is a progressive politician, and reforms are in the future.
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. time for "listening post" newsbytes. an episode into his series, and egypt's best known sat irist prompted an investigation by the
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prosecutor. bassem yousseff's show returned to the airwaves october 25th. it had been off the air since the coup that forced the muslim brotherhood out of power. bassem yousseff did not criticise abdul fatah al-sisi directly and his post coup leadership, he made it clear he was not jumping on the pro-coup bandwagon. >>in a development reminiscent of bassem yousseff's troubles under the muslim brotherhood, the chief prosecutor said he will investigate complaints brought by private citizens against bassem yousseff, saying he had harmed national interests by ridiculing the military and egyptian people - which could lead to a court trial. the media advisor for the interim government put the uk's
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"guardian" newspaper on a blacklist of mislead media for being a mouth piece for the count resolution. "the guardian" responded and read in part: . there has been a court ruling in argentina, going if favour of president cristina fernangez de kirchner, and against the country's largest media conglomerate. the supreme court ruled that a law passed by the cristina fernangez de kirchner government four years ago to limit the size of media conglomerates is constitutional. it means private broadcasters can be forced off the air if they exceed ownership limits. it was designed to curb the power and influence of clarin. in addition to owning the
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largest newspaper called "clar yin", they own 41%. market. 38% of broadcast television and 59% of cable tv. that's ordering to argentina's media regulate jor. the 2009 law states the maximum is 35% in all cases. it means clarin will have to do divesting. they called it: >> worrying developments for press freedom in somalia. two of the independent radio stations have been closed in a raid which turned violence. on october 26th officers demanded entry to a newspaper in mogadishu. they entered forcibly and beat journalists, cop fizz kating cameras and computers. >> skye was shut down, they broadcast from the same building. the government consists the
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eviction was a routine matter. the directors say that the raid was politically motivated, conducted on short notice. on the same day as the raid tv journalist mohammed macmud died in hospital after being shot, october 22nd nted. the seventh journalist murdered in somalia after 18 were killed last year. >> on the scale of the most dangerous places around you wouldn't think of the philippines. if you work in the media it's up there. the country can be a murderous place to be a journalist. the free press that grew up after the fall of the markos regime has been plagued with attacks. violence reached a peek in 2009 when 34 journalists and 24 others were kidnapped and shot to death. it's not just that the killings happen, it's that the killers escape prosecution.
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they murder journalists in the philippines with virtual impugn ta. the manila based center says, "there has been more than 150 media killed since 1986, but only 10 convictions." >> "listening post"'s meenakshi ravi on the dangers of being a reporter in the philippines, and what is means for journalism there. if one was to guess where the worst case of a mass murder of journalist took place, countries like iraq, somalia and syria may come to mind. it's the philippines. in late 2009, in the southern provinces 58 people travelling as part of a politician's convoy were killed. 34 of them were journalists. four years on there have been no convictions, and already this year seven journalists have been murdered. a newspaper editor, radio
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journalists, two tab lloyd journalists, and a photographer. >> doing stories about criminal acts, illegal accounts or corruption in government and other sectors can put you in danger being a journalist. some times a journalist is killed for criticising a person. >> we have a robust democracy, a noisy press. i think we are the freest in south-east asia. at the same time we are not a model for what good journalism is about. journalist are being killed. >> in january 2011 radio host jerry ortega was shot and kill.
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he spoke out about corruption in the gas fields project near the western islands. investigations into the assassination implicated political figures in the plot. the case remains unresolved. a more recent case in august this year as the murder of fernando, a political commentators. the death threats came while he was on the air, hosting his radio show. he read out a threatening text message and fielded hostile phone calls. he was killed in a drive by shooting. the case is unresolved. after the carnage in 2009, the president promised there would be justice. >> the perpetrators will not escape justice. >> the current president says his government is working overtime to prevent new cases of human rights violations and
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resolve previous cases and ask that people be patient. it is not helping. >> the university of the philippines is doing more than the president. at least the up three years ago introduced an elective course for would be or aspiring jurnalists. that shows them ou to do hostel coverage, what to do if you are in a possible hostel situation. how to protect yourself in the pursuit of an ex-closive story. at the end of the day cases about killings of media men are dependent on the lawyers and judges. >> the disappointment has come from a position that the acheano administration has taken, that a case of a violation against press freedom or the life of a yournalist has been taken to
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court, that it is now - must be left to the judicial process to bring it to its circles. unfortunately our court system is not built for quick justice. >> it's not that journalists never see their day in court. they are the ones in the dark. libel laws in the philippines are broad. breaking them may mean up to 6.5 years in gaol. >> in 2007 a commentator for the bombo radio station was convicted for reporting a politicians extra marital affair. he spent two years in gaol. in 2012 the united nations human rights committee ruled the conviction of adonis vilated the u.n.'s universal declaration of human lights. filipino journalists still feel the chill. >> i've been sued by a big
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businessman. a royal, supreme court justice. so libel is really a tool to make you sop writing about them or intimidating journalists so you stop or get scared and stop writing. it used to be in the past that journalists thought if they had a ribel charge, to wearing -- libel charge, to wearing a purple heart. in the past most of the courts, most of them ended favouring journalists. this has changed. in 2013 alone we a 11 journalists facing libel charges. this is a big number for a country that is supposed to have a doctrine of press freedom. >> isn't meant to be this way. in 1986, after 20 years of the authoritarian ferdan danned
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markos government. the authoritative lid came off. parts of the country boiled over. in the decades since the days of dictatorship, the philippines enjoyed greater freedom. like others suffers from less stability. in the filipino landscape there's a need for intersection. markos had a growth spurt. but quantity did not guarantee quality. >> the development of the press became problematic. you had a press getting used to its freedom and taking to it with a degree of ex-uberance that swung the pendual up to the extreme where no one can tell me what is right and wrong. >> the broadcasting company recently held a journalism 101
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seminar. they were reminded to bear in mind that persons and officials names - treat them with dignity. you don't just criticise a person. accompany your comment ris with substance. so if that story puts you in a bad light, or you know how to defend or the network will know how to defend you. >> however, the crimes against journalism, the occasional misdemeanours that filipino journalists commit don't compare to the crimes committed against them. the courts, libel and media murders that go unpunished. they are the big story when it comes to journalism in the philippines. >> more global village voices on the perils of journalism in the philippines. >> filipino journal lifts are
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vulnerable when covering corruption, elections, trade in illegal drugs and abuses in the exploitation. many of the killings of journalists happen in the provinces where the rule of law is weak. and where there's a thin line dividing crime and governance. >> i think the administration should do more in addressing the problem of journalists killed in this country. when he became president he vowed to address this problem. until now there has been no conviction of a master mind behind the killing of a journalist. until this happens, it will be lip service.
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finally back in 1974 bob marley wrote a song about a woman in a jamaican ghetto. the message in "no woman no drive" is that things can and will get better. there's a viral video version of the track adapted for modern day saudi arabia, the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive a car. within two days of being posted on october 26th, day one of a campaign to defy the band. it's called "no woman no drive," and produced by hisham fageeh, who is saudi arabia born, based in new york city, which probably means he is seen his share of bad driving >> it's our web video of the week.
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see you next time at "listening post". >> you're watching al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm jonathan betz, here are the top stories. pakistan condemns the u.s. drone strike that killed the leader of the taliban. one politician threatening to cut off nato supply routs. tee t terminal three has reopened. two french journalists are abducted and killed by gunmen in northern mali, the same area where government helped defeat rebel fighters months ago.


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