tv Listening Post Al Jazeera October 4, 2015 7:30am-8:01am EDT
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these are some of the media stories we are getting crosses this week: the tragedy in mecca. 1 story differing narratives depending upon what channel you are watching in which country. the conflict in crimea has led to the launch after new television channel in estonia. no country for journalism: mexico and the perils of the profession. the handle is@snowden. citizen 4 hits twitter. there are certain news events when you examine the coverage them reveal much about the larger story: the disaster that structural the hajj pilgrimage in mecca is an example of that reflected through the lenses of saudi and airanian media. two tloningz of pilgrims met at an intersection called nina. what happens next is unclear. what we know is hungry of lives were lost. one of the reasons for the confusion journalists say is they were denied access to the scene for up to seven hours.
the larger story is the geo politics of the region, news reports coming out of riyadh and tehran were from sympathy to sympathy. a bit of bad press given it happened in a place muslims consider sacred and saw e arabia and iran are fighting wars by proxy elsewhere in the region. our starting point this week is mecca. the city of mecca is home to 2 million people and the kaaba considered by most to be the holiest site in islam. during the hajj, the city's population can more than triple. this is not the first time crowd control has fallen short with lethal results. when the story broke, images began to appear on social media. however, conventional news video did not move across the feed for another seven hours.
>> that journalists reported is how long saudi officials kept the media away from the site. >> saudi arabia does not want gruesome, shocking images to appear on television. the stampede is said to have taken place at 9:00 a.m. we arrived at around 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. by the time we arrived, they were still collecting remains of dead people but we were not allowed to film and a lot of journal wrists thinking saudz must have about he happen hyding something. let's not forget the hajj is a sensitive event, the biggest gathering of the muslims in the world, one of the biggest human gatherings in the world. it's very spiritual and religious gathering. >> saudi arabia says the situation was dangerous. they were more concerned about evacuating the victims and injured but the reality is by restricting the media, saudi did
a lot of harm to its case. all kind of stories took place around this particular tragedy, mostly blaming the saudi king dog for not doing enough. >> international intrurmists report that the saudi media were allowed to film the scene many hours before reporters from the outside got access. however, the most sustained criticism -- and it's been an on absolute -- came from media outlets from the islamic in iran starting with the death toll which the soaudis have put at 769. >> there was talk of mismanagement in mecca, implications that saudi indifference to the safety of the pilgrims was to blame. >> iran yap newspapers echoed
the saudi is not up to hosting the hajj. the headline read saudi incompetence continues. iranian papers we want big on the theory that a member of the saudi royal family. >> the speculation, when the actual coverage has not been very transparent and free, we don't know what happened. everyone is waiting. >> my observation from the ground was that this stampede
took place in a very humble area that only houses foreign pilgrims. it's very unlikely that anything will be passing. i think the iranians possibly wanted to show how saudi arabia would rather treat its princes well, the so-called racism of saudi arabia when dealing with pilgrims from different nationalities. >> if you look at saudi arabia with a jaundiced eye, with political angles and all of that, you will never find anything good in awsaudi arabia the saudi ambassador to u.k. explained that the rumors were starting. iranian television. >> according to reports, the prince led authorities to change the direction of the pilgrim's movement. >> they started spreading this rumor and started politicizing it. it's a shame that this accident happened. it's a bigger shame that iran and those countries were linked
to iran have tried to polit size it. >> there is a wider contention to the geo political sides. they are on the opposing sides conflicts right across the region. syria, yemen and iraq among others. the saudis learned long ago investing in media and not the just their own can produce political dividends. they bankrolled t.v. channels in lebanon and pan-arab newspapers based in london but red across the arab world. they own the news network and by buying stock in rupert murdoch's news cooperation, they have a piece of sky news arabia. in 2010, the saudi government instructed its satellite company to drop iran's arabic news channel to use technical means to lessen the broadcast street. in this media war, the house of
saad is well armed. >> those have a vested interest invil villainizing each other, misrepresenting the actions of each other. they are fears rivals in various wars that are taking place in the region. the media war is as fierce as the actual wars that are taking place in syria and iraq, in bahrain and other places. >> saudi arabia has spent and invested a lot of money and resources into trying to control the narrative, especially in the arab world an, also, in the broader media landscape, more towards the west, and i think they have been pretty successful as far as controlling the narrative to their benefit from the western european and american viewpoint.
i don't think saudi arabia gets as much bad press in the western media especially as iran gets. >> the bic point here is that both the iranian media and the saudi media have framed the debate, not just in the context of after human tragedy but in the context of their geo strategic rivalry, and this tells you how fierce the region is between saudi arabia and iran in the middle east today.
other media stories, when the egyptian president finally, pardoned those two al jazeera journalists september 23rd, there were suggestions that it was part of a charm offensive, time to proceed the president's visit to the u.s. and the u.n.'s general assembly. sisi has done the media rounds in new york where he was asked about egypt's treatment of journalists. on cnn he did not just defend his government's record. he lauded it. he told wolf blitzer, i do not want to use cliches but we have unprecedented freedom of expression in egypt. no one in egypt can bar anywhere working in media or journalism or on t.v. from expressing their views. had the interview followed up, which he did not, he might have mentioned that at least 18 journalists remain in egyptian zales and seven guilty verdicts
stand against al jazeera employees tried in absentia. president asis said he is open to the idea of clemency but would rather not interfere with the judiciary which is precisely what he did when he pardoned fahmy and mohammed. theitsis military said sus spendnd one of its officers after an incidents in which two journalists were assaulted, their equipment destroyed. captured on a distant camera, two journalists who say they had prior authorization to be in the area near nabolos can be seen wearing body armor clearly marked as, "press." andrea bernardi and abbas mumani were roughed up. their camera was smashed on the ground. what was left was returned, they say, minus the memory cards and the content. the pair was covering demonstrations following the funeral of a palestinian killed
by security forces. theitsis military called the assault a grave incident and suspended the officer until foreign notice. the foreign press anticipated no actions would have been taken had it not been caught on camera bile pal media. the fta added is recall he'lls act with i am pupty and in direct contradiction. israel's military says it adheres to. the army must show it respects the freedom of the press. estonia has about 1.3 million, slightly more than 300,000 are ethnic russians. now they have their own television channel, one that has roots in the conflict over ukraine. the public broadcaster, eer, has just launched etv plus, a russian language news and entertainment channel. russian speaking estonians rely heavily on information broadcast by russian media outlets, the vast majority this provide
bar in vera cruz along a gang boss. why the former news anchor was sharing a table with such a figure is not known but their probation i am tip lends weight to what has become a truism in mexico that judgists who get too close to the drug car tells or that story get what's coming to them. is it always red note journalism, the sensational coverage of violence that gets journalists into trouble. espinoza's crime was coffee growers, student protesters and environmentalists and the threat he said he had received were from local government officials and many mexicans say that's a trend that's only getting worse. the listening post's will young now on the complicated perilous state of journalism in mexico.
>> rejected any possibility of getting protection. he felt the threats were coming from a government body. he thought protection from another government body was a contradiction. therefore, he did not believe in that. liz body was found in his apartment on the first of august. investigators are calling it a robbery gone wrong and have jailed a suspect. friends, colleagues apted press freedom campaigners say that the risks and threats that he is pin on th espinoza followed him back to the capitol. >> according to what others do, he maud his case public, spoke about his problem in different media and to all of the press freedom organizations.
the official body for protecting journalists knew about it as well as the authorities. despite all of this, they couldn't protect him >> the government's responsibility is to provide security for all citizens. of course, in the particular indicates of journalists, to allow them to safely exercise freedom of expression, we were told allow them when they are? danger. the state mechanism will not prevent incidents. we are one part of the whole and journalists, themselves also take responsibility. i think we cannot really put the burden of proof in the -- in the journalists. i mean how the journalists are protecting themselves. this is a matter of a mexican state and a national crisis. protection of journalists. it's like a band-aid but you have a hemorrhage inside. so you need to operate and the
protection laws, maybe they are working. my view is that they are not. >> javier dejuarte became governor in 2010. since then action 14 journalists have been killed or disappeared. in may, the body of herm ando morales, a vera cruz radio and print journalists was found with four bullets to the head near the state boarder. he had been reporting on political corruption and oil theft by the cartel did. last year, the body of crime and security reporter gregorio her menez de la cruz was pounds in a shallow grave. he reported on a local union leader that had spoken out against organized crime and abductions at a bar said to be conducted to the zetta gang. in 2012, martinez who reported on cartels and corruption for proceso was found beaten and strangled in her apartment. the list goes on. officials sufficient as dujarte
say the problem isn't just reporting on the car tells but journalists are sometimes working with them, get too close, they say, and you have it coming. >> it's true it can be a danger for journalists. that's why they need to look after and protect themselves. we have to differentiate between getting close to these criminals for information purposes and for purposes other than journalism. >> reporting on certain stories, journal itself and photographers tread a fine line by crossing that line, they can easily end up with a criminal gang. what governor dujuartes has a
double meaning. it reflects the reality in some parts of the country. >> the killing of juan santos cabrera would seem to prove dejuartes' point. he was shot dead in a bar in the city of vera cruz state. his companion was value deras reputed to be the boss of the cartel. sanchez drove a taxi and ran a grocery store to fund his own weekly newspaper. kidnapped on january 2nd, his body was found three weeks later, decapitated and mutilated. a former policeman confess today tacking part in the murder and accused former mayor of ordering it. >> to think everything happens because of organized crime is a mistake. it is not like covering a normal war because a normal war, you
know whose side people are on, where each alleyway is and who works for them. in mexico, you don't know if the policeman that you are interviewing works for a cartel or if the mayor you talk to works for someone else. what we see in the records is that the main agressor is the state. >> can be governorors, municipal mayors or police. >> according to government figures, over past five years, protection measures for journalists in mexico have included a dozen bullet-proof vests. even a handful of armored cars. even sew, the rate at which journalists are being killed is. according to the committee to protect journalists fewer than 10 percent of the attacks against journalists and writers result in convictions. >> the serious problem is impunity because the perpetrators can easily state that nothing will happen to
them. 45% of aggression against the press come from public serve answer where there is municipal precedent or police or a lot way to the army or federal authorities. >> if no one is punished, if the politician who ordered the disappearing of a journalist is not in prison, the issue is it doesn't matter, that in mexico it is possible to silence a journalist. ruben case contrad i think so a claim that the only ones are those that cover cartel stories. he didn't like covering crime but despite this, he was murdered. >> journalists are not the only victims much mexico's climate of fear. students, act visits, migrants and others suffer injustice and violence, often on a terrifying
debate on government surveillance has appeared on big screens at international conferences and on small screens in televised interviews. however, one place that edward snowden had not been seen nor heard was twitter until last week when he opened his account. his first words to the twitterverse were: can you hear me now? a flood of followers? more than one million and counting although snowden says he is only following one account: that of his former employer, the nsa. and you can bet that the agency is returning the favor. we will leave you with some of the best replies to edward snow den's very first tweet and we will see you next time here at "the listening post." ♪
>> i'm ali velshi. "on target" tonight, how innocent americans tonight could end up labeled terrorists, turning their lives and livelihoods yum side down. upside down. the united states announced sanctions against five groups of people across the globe, connected to i.s.i.l, at a counterterrorism summit in new york, president obama said, part of america's commitment to use all means possible to get rid of i.s.i.l. >> we are harnessing all of our tools, military intelligence economic development and the