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tv   Listening Post  Al Jazeera  September 7, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm EDT

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. hello. i am richard ginsburg. you are at "the listening post" pakistan democracy put to the test. losers by default. argentina, vulture funds and the fight for the narrative. a media tycoon investigated for bribery in hong conleying, pro-democracy. his supporters call it a case of
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political persecution. ♪. >> what would he think of our web video of the week. pakistan in the grip of the latest political power struggle in the country's top two news channels fighting a proxy war. street demonstrators led by a cricket player turned politician, imran khan have demanded the resignation of the prime minister who the protesters insist was rigged. he says he is not going anywhere. the way the unrest is being reported in pakistan's media lays bear the political divisions in the country and sometimes exacerbates them. backing the government are gotv, the most watched network in pakistan and the state-owned broadcaster, ptv. both had offices targeted by protesters and in p tv's case briefly occupied. ary, the country's second largest news channel backs the protest and has been going at it on the air with ggio news.
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watching from the sidelines is the pakistani army. the country's politicians seen to be failing. sharif is well aware, having been thrown out of the prime minister's office once before in a coup in 1999. back then, the pakistani media space was nothing like it is today. the state-owned ptv was the only game in town. these days, the air waves are a much more crowded place and it's not all for the good. our starting point in week is islamabad. in one corner, the aforementioned t.v. state owned ptv and the private gotv which are standing with the government. opposition politic imran khan whose party is on the same side of this story as the privately owned ary t.v. it's a fight that can be traced back to may 11th, 2013, and the
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election that brought sharif of the pakistan muslim league to power. >> the political impasse in pakistan has ruled in the results. one particular political says the geo news was the one which was trying to impact the election results by announcing results prematurely and imran khan said geo news played a role in bringing in pakistan as the leading party and that's why gi to. comes in the crossfire. >> this political confrontation cha has spilled over into the streets has found the media also in the thick of it. >> has generated a lot of controversy considering there are over 2000 current affairs chajdz. confrontation. >> that confrontation started coming to a head having waited more than a year for the authorities to examine their allegations, the election results were fixed, imran khan's
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party brought people on to the streets of islamabad. by september 1st, the demonstrations took a nasty turn with giotv and ptv among the buildings targeted. the protesters infiltrated p tv's facilities knocking the channel off the air temporarily but not before anchor woman usma choudry got the news out. >> i anchored that bullet because i wanted people to know what had happened. i was injured and i still am. i was beaten with sticks. had i been injured worse, i would have still done that bullet. no one can stop us from speaking out, from speaking the truth. their agenda is to cause disruption and spread chaos. >> pakistan television is the symbol of the straight-up pakistan.
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there is a military coup in pakistan, first of all, they take over the building of the pakistan television. so this time, the workers of pakistan and pakistan wanted to give impact to the whole country that the government is over. >> however, the big media battle around this story doesn't involve ptv. it pits the two top-rated networks against each other. geo t.v. and it's most prominent anchor who imran khan's followers say goes too easy on a government they call illegitimate versus ary, the loud voice of lukman. he was a minister in pakistan's last military government under pervez musharaf. it's opposed to elected. he supports imran khan and the protesters and is openly nostalgic for the days of
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military rule. >> that's what an army is supposed to do. >> it is not an allegation. he, himself, said it many times that pakistan army should take over pakistan. he always said that only army can rule this country, not politicians. my position and the position of my channel is entirely different. we think that the future of pakistan is in democracy. it is not just a position to gol against an anchor of a television which differs with you on a policy and which does not respect journalistism but in this situation, geo news has done the same as what he was alleged to do. it has gone personal, over stepped and tried to play the role of a big brother, which it has been trying to do over the past decade, which is again not
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the realm of a journalistic organization, a media organization to do in any society. >> we requested an interview with lukman or anyone at ary, about no one was made available. conflict on television, real or manufactured tends to attract viewers. however, the coverage of this story comes at the expense of another big story in pakistan. the government's recent security push into the northwest, tribal regions previously controlled by the taliban resulted in an estimated 1 million idps, internally displaced people. argueaypably more news worthy than a few thousand protesters and the talking heads arguing over what that means. >> the issue with the people of pakistan are discussing because they feel that the issue of around 1 million internally displaced persons, that issue is now on the back burner.
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people of pakistan are saying they are fighting the terrorists and if we have an issue of these i idpss and want them to resume their lives as soon as possible. but these guys, what they are doing in islamabad, this is a big distraction. >> as we have reported before on the listening post, in the space of just 15 years, pakistan has gone from one t.v. channel, the state-owned ptv, to more than 30. like many 15-year-olds, pakistan's needs i can't are going through adolescent growing pains. the young news outlets provide plenty of on-air heat but not nearly enough light. too many owners are in it not to inform or educate but to influence and the battle for viewers, the struggle for survival, which are by no means unique to pakistan, have come at the expense of the journalism. >> the missing stories that the media, itself, has failed to tell its own story of the kinds of pressures it is facing, the
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kind of compromises it has to make in its primary function of being the guardian of public interest and its primary operation of also being profit-making entities. so professionalism is compromised but behind that compromise are reasons that are not well understood, and that's because the media is failing to 'til tell them and it's because not many are willing to listen to that story. >> our global village voices now on the media story in pakistan. >> there is a whole generation of reporters and analysts in pakistan who don't come from a journalism background. they haven't had any formal training in media effects and are prone to use their power and that's a dangerous country. lobbying. >> 30 media houses in pakistan are influenced by political stakeholders. one is wary about what the truth really is. i think it becomes particularly problematic when a journalist
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comes on a prime time t.v. talk show and sites violence. unfortunately in the past, in the past two weeks, a couple of journalists were doing that.
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>> audiences are intelligent and they know that their needs are not being met by american tv news today. >> entire media culture is driven by something that's very very fast... >> there has been a lack of fact based, in depth, serious journalism, and we fill that void... >> there is a huge opportunity for al jazeera america to change the way people look at news. >> we just don't parachute in on a story...quickly talk to a couple of experts and leave... >> one producer may spend 3 or 4 months, digging into a single story... >> at al jazeera, there are resources to alow us as journalists to go in depth and produce the kind of films... the people that you don't see anywhere else on television. >> we intend to reach out to the people who aren't being heard. >>we wanna see the people
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who are actually effected by the news of the day... >> it's digging deeper it's asking that second, that third question, finding that person no one spoken to yet... >> you can't tell the stories of the people if you don't get their voices out there, and al jazeera america is doing just that. archs. a chilling title a second message to america, posted online september 2nd. islamic militants are murdered a captured american journalist. the beheading of sotloff was similar to the killing of james foley from august 18th. the i.s. voice said the journalist's life would be spared only if the u.s. stopped its air war against is fighters in iraq. the landscape appears similar. afternoon online investigative journalism site claims to have pin pointed the cloeks to the hills south of the syrian city of raqqa.
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the 31-year-old we want missing in northern syria in august of last year. he was an experienced reporter, having covered egypt, turkey and libya before going to syria. his work was published in various news outlets including time magazine and the christian science monitor. a couple of weeks ago, we took a look at the media in hong kong. since then, there have been more developments which trouble those who advocate a pre- and open press there. on august 29th, anti-corruption officers raided the home of media tycoon jimmie lott, a prominent critic of beijing in connection with a bribery investigation which proceed democrats have branded as clearcut % cuing. he opens the apple daily, one of the few chinese publications published in hong kong. a few months ago, the paper's website was targeted in a cyber attack that reportedly originated in mainland china. last month, a rival newspaper, the orientation daily ran a full-page 0 pit wary claiming he
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had died from aids and cancer. lei responded with a video he published on the apple daily website in which he said he was sorry to disappoint. last year, another one of lei's outlets accused three major institutionses from pulling advertisement from the apple daily under pressure from beji g beiji beijing. the accusation has been denied. a 10 year jail sentence opinion acmad humadon whose picture documenting police attacks on protesters were published on opposition websites has been imprisoned since 2012 charged with participating in an attack on a police station. human rights and press freedom organizations say that the photo journalist was doing his job covering the story. >> in july of this year, another photographer, amar rasul was arrested by plane clothed security officers. tests tests.
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>> the crackdown started in 2011 during the arab spring and according to research by the new york-based press freedom advocates in the committee to protect journalists, ba rain i am prisons more journalists than that time. >> rea. thousands garerred to release journalists, photographers and political prisoners. when argentine i can't made headlines after defaulting on debt, the international media defaulted as well with coverage that could be summed up in four words. here we go again. that's because it all sounded so familiar. argentina, debt, and defaulting. but this time, the story is different. it's about a legal battle going on for more than a decade and the government in bouens aires and thomas briesa. the judge ruled in favor after firm called elliott associates,
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which bought up cheap debt and then refused to do what most creditors do when they are owed big money by debtors. they refused to negotiate with argentina. the judge said that elliott associates is legally entitled to a profit of $15,000,000,000. the story has become a propaganda war. christina kirschner is fighting to get her message across in domestic and international. she is pitching argentina as the under dog standing up to u.s. vulture funds and the people who buy them and then hold developing countries hostage for the sake of financial gain. "listening post" on the story and the news coverage. >> all right. when the news broke on july 13th argentina had defaulted, people were fearing a rerun of the 2001 crisis. images of buenous aires, banks destroyed a country in turmoil.
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cameramans 70 out to get those handed. >> when you get a so farret default and news organizations cover it, they try to make it seem as exciting as possible. >> defaulting on the debt. crisis. >> how devastating would that be for argentina? >> they start running these stories about argentina stands on the brink of precipice today as it decides whether or not to embark upon a course of action which will cause a catastrophic default and plunge the nation into blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. and this is not unbiased media so much as it is just an attempt to try and make your viewers care about the story. it's not really true. >> after the catastrophic default of 2001, elliott management did what a lot of invest orders do. they went out and bought the bonds
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argentina had defaulted on for penney's on the dollar and watched the price soar t these are known as vulture funds. in dealings with other bondholders, argentina renegotiated its debt as it rebuilt its economy. elliott and its affiliates were the only ones who refused to renegotiate demanding full value, $15,000,000,000, and won a court case against argentina when u.s. federal judge thomas creasa ruled in their favor. throughout this conflict, christina cinchner has gone on the air waves to tell her side of the story about how invest orders favor on unstable economies to max out on their profits. . >> they want to make 100 times the ininterestment or nothing. so, what happened on july 30th
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is that they said, yes, they have every right to collect 100 times what they invested. argentina refuse to see pay like that. it's a matter of a disaster for the nation, which is what will goes back $250,000,000,000 and simply we don't have the money for that. >> total, it is the government has been trying to own this narrative even though the weight of the facts go against it. they spent hours discussing whether this is called default or not. it makes no sense. let's call it whatever we want. the truth is that bondholders have not received their payments. this is a fact. >> nelson castro is one of the journalists. he works for a news channel owned by the medimmediate clarin conglomerate. they used to control 50% of the
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country's newspaper and magazine corporation half of the country's media. had big stakes in t.v., radio and major internet providers. collarin once supported the kifrmingner government but they fell out over government tax hikes on landowners. in 2009, the president pushed through anti-monopoly laws designed to break up media conglomratsdz. clairein said the government were going after them and using t.v. channels to say media freedom wunder threat. the government said it's not just about collarin but about diversifying ownership of the news media, splitting the media market into 3s, a third for the government, a third for the private sector and another for community-run outlets. >> five years later, argentine is trying to make sense of the financial story, seeing a polarized coverage with no middle ground. >> if you read newspapers like clarin, la nation, you are
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getting one side of the story. if you read something like paki nadose, you are getting the government's side. i don't think clarin has ever spoken to anybody from the government in 10 years. now, pakinidose, their coverage to me is good, but at times, they seem like they are kissing the feet of the government. >> this story about us in a default is just a continuation of hundreds of front page stories by collarin saying that we are larn saying that we are in a recession, salaries go down. >> they are not only a newspaper that opposes the government. they represent the financial sector in this >> translator: we in the independent media are seen as a
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position. it is about the concrete economic impact of the judge's decision and which argentina, so far, has no other choice but to respect. ♪ >> kirschner says she has a choice, she has continued to fight in the courts and, also? >> in the foreign media publishing full-page as in the papers of record, the financial times, "the wall street journal," the "new york times," in a major push against the so-called vulture funds. . >> it's not a coincidence that the argentine government plays those ads in the "wall street journal," the foremost financial newspaper and part of the murdoch group, an international group that really goes after
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every government not towing the line of the imf and neocon politics. it's a paper that doesn't like south america right now. >> a lot of the rhetoric in maybe what you might characterize as the right-wing press has been that you have this very leftist populist, anti-american president, christina fern andesses kirschner and she is thumbing her nose basically at the u.s. and that the rule of law and that this is a problem which argentina has brought on its self and could have averted a default quite easily and it peters off because it's not xbls of exactly obvious what argentina is meant to have done to have averted default among having a massive settlement to $15,000,000,000 worth of holdout. >> well, of course, argentina has unfortunately the stigma of
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being unpredictable. this is one of argentinas problems, we get angry with the international press when it reports but it's a reality of argentina's history and i hope the future will change. it is made more complicated when the news media telling your story to the world are hitting rewind instead of record and taking it will as the country try to find pa way forward. more global village voices on the reporting of the financial story in >>. >> it's a bit shocking sometimes for me is the partners, of course, a far away country like argentina becomes news only when things are going wrong. i think they tend to be very and have a capitalist view basically because they belong to big
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courses surprising. >> it's a common departure where a condemnation of the vulture groups emphasizing the government's mishandling and the negative consequences this has for the local economy. while on the other side, newspapers publishing on the vir tuesday of taking a stand against these predators in an unfair global financial system. in this context, it can be difficult to find a balanced story. taken as a whole, the different perspectives provide a useful panorama for those willing to take it all in.
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we have all grown familiar with that warning we sometimes see on line: pair ejts advisory. >> suspicious minds believe that is used by cynical marketers as a strategy to boost music sales to adolescents. this is by an american hip-hop artist, mclethal. >> listen if you will. chill. your cameras for the bills. never scrap the kitchenep. >> he says he came up with it after a middle age music teachers writes something for her teachers, something they would write inspiring to keep it clean, no swearing so she could play it in class. he calls it the mozart wrap, making the rounds online.
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we have made it our web individual year. political advisory, fast talking content. so try to keep up. this is al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey in new york with a look at the day's top story. the u.s. military expands air strikes against the islamic state group, targets near the haditha dam were hit for the first time. the president promises to outline his full strategy against the islamic state, in a speech this week. fighting breaks out in ukraine, killing two. the official ceasefire is in syria's jeopardy. a health alert for parents of kids with asthma, a rapidly spread virus is moving across the


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