Tag Archives: news

The News Year Resolution: Consume Responsibly

Journalism and breaking news, wouldn’t it be nice if we could trust them?

But we’re a only a month into 2014 and already the mainstream media have displayed that they cannot be trusted to report without bias or to give any context for the events they report on.

The graphic above is a pretty handy guide to breaking news, the kind that comes with flashing graphics and alarmed tweets when no one really knows what happened yet but everyone is willing to repeat what the last person said.

Other points to consider:

  • Where is this happening?
  • Who are the groups involved?
  • Has this happened before?
  • Who stands to gain the most from this situation? (Extra important: always follow the money)

Mass media influences our understanding of the world in ways that it is difficult to be conscious of but it is always worth trying. When forming an opinion, try to be certain that it is in fact your opinion and not one you’ve simply absorb through cultural osmosis.

Good luck consuming your media responsibly this year!

World News Roundup: 20/9/2013

There have been clashes in Nigeria’s capital city Abuja today between the Nigerian army and Boko Haram militants who allegedly opened fire on security forces when they followed a tip about a suspect Boko Haram weapons cache. “The State Security Service did not give any details about casualties. A witness told the BBC that he saw dead bodies.”

The Boko Haram are an extremist, separatist group seeking to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria. Nigeria is evenly divide between Muslim and Christians.  At least 87 people were killed Boko Haram fighters attacked a town in Borno, a northeastern state in Nigeria whose governor Kashim Shettima described the attack as “barbaric and un-Islamic.” Approximately 3,600 people have been killed by the Boko Haram since 2009. Earlier today the bodies of 143 civilians were recovered by environmental agency workers according to the AP. 

Two bombs went off in a Sunni Mosque in the city of Samarra in Iraq today killing up to 18 people during Friday midday prayers. An official of the municipal council, Mizhar Fleih, said the explosion also wounded at least 21 people. Samarra is 95 km north of Baghdad and while largely Sunni it is home to a sacred Shia shrine. There has been a rise in attacks on Sunni mosques in Iraq in the last few months. Sunni extremist are widely blamed, however it is also possible that Shia militias, that had been mostly active in recent years could also have been to blame.  Fleih also added:

“We are worried that the attacks on Sunni and Shiite mosques aim at reigniting the sectarian strife in this country”.

Last week, a similar attack on a Sunni mosque in northeast of Baghdad killed 33 worshippers.

There was a fresh wave of anti-India protesting in the contested region of Kashmir today. At least seven people have been killed in main city of Srinagar. Officials say that two photojournalists and two police officers were injured. Police officer Abdul Gani Mir said the clashes began after troops stops hundreds of people from marching south to the town of Shopian.

At least 30 killed in bombs attacks in Yemen that local official believe were the work of al-Qaida.

A man stands in front of where Pavlos Fyssas died, the graffiti on the door reads “Revenge” (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

The Greek police’s anti-terrorism division has been given the investigation into the murder of rapper Killah P (Pavlos Fyssas) which has been blamed on a supporter of the far-right party the Golden Dawn. Golden Dawn, which grew in the face of the economic crisis, has condemned the rapper’s murder and denies any involvement in the attack. It has been noted that the Golden Dawn has many supporters within the Greek police force.

Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc is strongly favored for a majority win of the vote in Germany’s general election on Sunday though it will almost certainly result in a coalition.

Pakistan have freed the co-founder of the Afghan Taliban is an effort to improve relationship with Afghanistan.

World News Roundup 19/9/2013

Philippine forces have claimed to have won back 80% of the led held by rebels after 11 days of conflict. The conflict began with a stand off between the army and fighter from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) a separatist group that wants an independent state for Moro people. The MNLF opposed a peace deal being struck with a rival rebel faction the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who broke away from the MNLF because they felt they had lost a Muslim spiritual focus. The southern city of Zamboanga became a battle group between the MNLF and state forces. 

Riots have broken out in Greek cities of Athens and Thessaloniki following public sector strikes. Anti-fascism protests and anarchist groups joined the protests calling for the banning of far-right group the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn was a lot of support within the Greek police force.

This follows on from the murder of anti-racist rapper Killah P (Pavlos Fyssas) who was stabbed to death on Tuesday by an alleged member of the Golden Dawn.

Photo: RT Lucy Kafanov via Twitter

A well known Sri Lankan journalist has left Sri Lanka after her family were threatened at knifepoint. Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema is the associate editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper and led a trade union for journalists. She has received death threats in the past. Sri Lanka’s reputation for intimidating journalists has only gotten worse in recent months and we have covered some of those cases here before.

Abeywickrema receiving the Investigative Journalist of the Year award in 2009/ Photo: The Sunday Times.lk

US poverty rate remains at 15%. That’s 46.5 million people and 16.1 million of them are children. Which is 1 in 3. 1 in 3 of America’s poor are children.

Jordan is constructing a new Syrian refugee camp which will be able to hold more than 100,000 people. More than half a million people have crossed into Jordan since the conflict began.

World News Roundup: 12/Sep/2013

Who are the journalists of 2013?

“Thou shall not think having a blog makes you a journalist” – Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

That’s an important thing to remember. It’s something remind myself if I get to big headed. But then again, I would also argue that having a big corporate contract doesn’t necessarily make you a journalist either. I haven’t seen anyone I’d call a journalist on FOX News or writing for The Daily Mail any time recently and yet all these news outlets pull greater respect than online news-breakers, with twitter and blogs.

Press credentials are not the necessity they once were and neither is working for a big media company or ever having your name in paper and ink print.

Photo from UN - Sec Gen briefs Journalists
Photo from UN – Sec Gen briefs Journalists

Modern social media has blurred the lines between the people telling and making the news and those who consume it. This has led to a lot of regurgitation of news stories from one agency to another but it also opens up the possibilities of looking at breaking news from several perspectives. Podcasts have taken the place of political talk radio for much of the younger generation. Shows like Citizen Radio, because they are produced by the hosts they have the freedom to push more boundaries than many in more traditional medias.

Twitter in recents years has been particularly influential in breaking stories and live updating as events unfold. The bombing of the Boston marathon and the subsequent confusion and manhunt saw Twitter really rise to the forefront of the news with Twitter-focused news outlets like Anonymous’ @YourAnonNews being an hour ahead of CNN or FOX for most of the night.

But expediency does not a journalist make either. The speed information can travel has increased dramatically but ultimately it is still the job of journalists to examine information in its context and supply considered analysis. Which is a challenge we here at Global Echo hope to undertake.

So perhaps journalists in the modern world are not defined by their credentials or their medium but rather the quality of their work.

Our world is still as huge and diverse as ever but the information age has made it seem smaller. This is a challenge, to avoid homogenous reporting, but also an opportunity to engage with a wider and more diverse audience than ever.

— Orla-Jo