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tv   The Listening Post 2017 Ep 39  Al Jazeera  November 1, 2017 8:32am-9:00am AST

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zhilin australian run offshore prison camp tension is high at the facility on popular guinea's mannus island where refugees and barricaded themselves inside fearing attacks by locals there are reports the army plans to enter the facility facebook has admitted it should have done more to pick up on russian links meddling in last year's u.s. election twitter and google representatives told a senate hearing they found evidence of russian backed posts trying to influence the vote protests have been taking place in eritrea as capital as they've been reports of gunshots in the predominantly muslim neighborhood it's where an islamic school has been ordered by the government to change its curriculum including a ban on the hit job and religious education some school board members have been arrested. and politicians are warning cambodia could face a trade sanctions if it doesn't improve its human rights as the strongest threaten action so far since the arrest of opposition leader. in september on tuesday cambodia's top court rules must remain in prison while he awaits trial for treason
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. well those are the headlines the news continues here on al-jazeera after the listening post thank you that's watching. witness documentaries that open your eyes at this time on al-jazeera. u.s. backed forces and syrian are celebrating their eyes rock rock. or i like to throw rocks at exactly that. but i mean i'm going to show us all sit around and oppression. hello i'm richard yes bourdin you're at the listening post this week we're examining the media in and around syria starting with spin city the islamic state abandons rocca leaving the
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story in the hands of international journalists lebanon has more refugees per capita than any other country and the media coverage of them can smack of sensationalism and zina phobia in spain madrid moves against the biggest player on the catalonian airwaves t.v. three and chinese media and a young american all singing from the same song. we begin with the fall of rock of the syrian city captured by islamic state forces more than three years ago rocco was the capital of what i still called its caliph it as such it was the dateline behind some of the most brutal imagery of the syrian war square at the heart of the city was the site of summary executions and beheadings that the group then fed to the world in the form of propaganda when the syrian democratic forces finally rolled into that square a week and a half ago many of the western journalists traveling with them told a story of triumph liberation however the contours of this story are shaped by the
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interests of the countries involved the taking of rocket by u.s. backed kurdish led troops is seen very differently in media reports coming out of russia. turkey iran and the government held damascus six years into this war the story is no less foggy and the truth remains elusive our starting point this week is what's left of iraq as seen through the eyes of a drone camera documenting the destruction. wrought footage gives you the illusion that you have a bird's eye view that you see everything and in reality it's just another perspective that is mediated by the knowledge of the real story is continued to be hidden if i speak total costly destructive beyond imagination as these exclusive pictures film show the human eyes is what we are looking at and the absence of
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people and footage adds to the sense of detachment it used to be one of syria's larger cities but is now little more than the rubble this kind of video game image of a destroyed city that most people cannot even relate to it seems like it is fiction the way. in front the more you think you know based on this sort of drawn footage the less you actually know about the details. in other words context matters consider the difference between how the form of raka has been covered by various news organizations the black ice is why it was replaced by the battle of the u.s. backed forces compared to how they reported the fall of aleppo. fifteen months ago so almost slowed by regime and russian forces crushing what's left of the rebel
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east aleppo had been held by syrian opposition forces including the al qaeda affiliated all nusra front rocket was in the hands of isis the bombs dropped on aleppo were russian and clearing the. a for syrian government troops those targeting rocka were american the ground forces were led by kurdish fighters on the aleppo story the bulk of the questions about civilian casualties the deaths of innocents came from western media reports that forces loyal to syrian president bashar al assad and backed by russia executed at least eighty two innocent civilians with roc-a those same kinds of questions are being asked by the other side pictures from iraq on exactly give us a sense of success it's a virtual ghost city the destruction you can see here of course why i still love militia shelling and vast coalition that bombardment. mainstream media narratives are ideologically driven and i think much of the american media was supporting the
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american government's goals in iraq which were to uproot myself a senior syrian commanders as u.s. backed forces have liberated the city of rocket from isis terrorists and anything that might mitigate against the celebration of that event fighters from the syrian democratic forces are dancing and they are chanting in history the suffering of people the destruction of buildings by forces might have put a damper on the great achievements of the s.d.f. so if you look at the way that russian media has reported the story they have questioned about who is responsible for what happened in iraq after all the destruction if you look at the syrian media it has not been a main story on an on syrian national t.v. for instance if we just talk about the visit was of the media what you see now is kurdish fighters with kurdish flags dancing in the main square of. the
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syrian national t.v. is focusing on battles that are happening and that is what i said. because the syrian army is more active in that area major war on terror u.s. backed forces taking over isis is home base and rock capital in terms of mainstream us media was couched in the language of the terry it's couched in the language of fighting terrorism and there is very little awareness of the fact that in the and syria is being destroyed and allied forces are continuing the destruction that the regime has started. when arsenal captured iraq in january of two thousand and fourteen reporters were banished from the city leaving the story to citizen journalists sites like rocket is being slaughtered silently are b.s.s. operated under incredibly dangerous conditions most of our b.s.s.
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is contributors were forced to flee and continued their work in exile they know the story and their recent posts on the fall of iraq are considerably less celebratory than what has appeared in western media outlets. they're tweeting many of these concerns about you know what happens next who exactly are the s.d.f. and how will they treat the city when many of them don't even speak arabic so all of the concerns are are very much apparent in tweet after tweet after tweet all very readily accessible to us and western news media and yet they're really fairly invisible. stock them at least if militias use the media for propaganda just like other fact i met a foreign journalist and he told me that once he got to record they took his passport and they were with him the whole time so you had no freedom to speak to any citizens so they're forcing the media and especially the journalists to winter
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. here is they control to published reports in the way that they want. the fight against terrorism that the western media focus on has included a significant media component this past july the pentagon confirmed it had killed six i saw media operatives in targeted strikes including ryann mashal the founder of the groups a mock news agency when i saw was on the rise its online media machine produced some sophisticated propaganda which was critical to its recruiting efforts but over the past eighteen months media output has fallen off by ninety percent like its forces on the ground surrendering territory its forces online have been in retreat the messaging has also changed with the times. the unique thing about i ask compared to other militant groups is that a caliphate and
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a lot of propaganda was based on control of territory. if we remember how they changed their name to the islamic state just to say that they will expand their control of the territories so now with this element of territorial control they certainly have to justify it in new ways i system. as a physical center for the generation of propaganda. from underground locations in the desert between iraq and syria and this locations remain under the control of isis so the propaganda continues but the propaganda has certainly transformed in terms of content. in the last few months their approach change instead of a call to come and join the battle it is a call to supporters no matter where they are to commit terrorist attacks.
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still out. there saying if we disappear from the ground we have to stay in your minds and in your thoughts it's a call for other people to take this ideology and develop and. with a little. some wars are fought in relative obscurity they fail to attract the coverage they deserve and the fighting and suffering last longer than necessary syria may be the opposite case in point some have called it the most documented war ever the interested parties american russian turkish iranian saudi catherine and of course syrian all come with media outlets attached embedded they can be part of the machinery truth can be a casualty of that and the enemy can become an accidental beneficial. in a way it shows that perhaps the strength of i as has been that it has so many
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enemies that it took so long to defeat i asked because it was never about i as it was more about the geopolitical interests of of the different countries. other media stories that are on our radar this week the spanish government's response to the referendum in catalonia dismissing the separatist regional government there also includes moving to take control of one of the major media players in this conflict the barcelona based t.v. three the measures proposed by the real horror government in madrid fall under article one fifty five of the spanish constitution and would empower the government to remove and replace those in charge of the channel which is partially funded by the regional government in catalonia and was clearly pro independence in its coverage there are a whole of government says it wants to return public media outlets to neutrality an argument that would carry far more weight if the madrid based t.v. which the real government controls wasn't clearly anti independence in its coverage
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t.v.'s news council a body made up of journalists tasked with ensuring objectivity at the channel said of the targeting of t.v. three public media outlets should serve citizens never governments spain's biggest newspaper defended the royal government through an editorial headlined the democratic state response. following up on a story that we led with two weeks ago a news website in india that investigated the finances of a businessman closely tied to the modi government has been ordered by a court to back off the story the site is called the wire one of its reporters rohini singh scrutinize the suddenly booming finances of j i meet shah the son of prime minister narendra modi's right hand man. the injunction which was ordered by a lower court in gujarat the prime minister's home state was issued in conjunction with a defamation case that j. shah filed against the wire rohini saying and editors at the wire have been
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summoned to appear in court next month if convicted of defamation they could be sentenced to two years in prison the wire says it plans to challenge the injunction the media monitoring group the committee to protect journalists said rather than shutting down reporting by the wire indian authorities should take steps to change the country's outdated defamation laws russian authorities say they've opened an investigation into a case of attempted murder after a knife attack on a radio host who has been critical of the kremlin tatiana fellow going to howard who hosts a program on radio echo of moscow was stabbed in the neck by an assailant to reach a station security and attacked her within the offices earlier this month one of russia's state owned broadcasters rosia twenty four reported that the radio station had sought financial help from foreign sources ahead of the presidential elections that are five months away one man is in custody over the knife attack but according to russian police the stabbing was not political it was a case of hooliganism that turned into personal hatred and howard's colleagues at
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the station called that assessment complete nonsense despite being owned by the energy giant gazprom which is a state owned company radio echo of moscow is one of the few broadcast outlets that remain critical of the kremlin yulia latynina another journalist at the station fled russia last month after an arson attack on her car. part two of our syria related program now the coverage of the refugee story next door in lebanon and the resulting rise of what some are calling a fascist climate there a few months back a provocative article appeared in a leading french language newspaper in beirut lawdy only issue three hundred people put their names to it journalists activists and intellectuals they were protesting against the incitement of hatred against syrian refugees among those accused of creating that climate or the country's highly politicized media outlets pick up a newspaper or turn on the t.v. and you might conclude that the problems that have plagued lebanon for years daily
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electricity cuts a lack of jobs pollution all began with the arrival of the refugees the toxic rhetoric often starts at the political level however since almost every news outlet in lebanon has some kind of political backing political affiliation that rhetoric then finds its way into the reporting the listening posts tarek naafi now on the fear and loathing of syrian refugees in lebanon. but. this is how syrian refugees up the trade on lebanese when. the scale of the story is undeniable since two thousand and one point five million theory and refuge in lebanon they now make up
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a quarter of the country population be added during that influx put on lebanon creaking infrastructure and. it's also beyond dispute but eleven on the problem did not begin nor do they end with refugee and on a story that requires accuracy and new on through. there is often little to be found not a lady there but also to its management nervous that she has now where i be and even. at the very beginning of the conflict. media outlets that were close to the syrian opposition were very open to the idea of lebanon welcoming refugees whereas media outlets that were close of us regime spoke about the refugees with very negative terms unfortunately that narrative became more prominent and managed to convince more people as the refugee crisis kept growing over time in the beginning they would call syrians or refugees but
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over time they start to use the term now is what's placed as if they want to make sure that syrians are just a temporary thing every day we have a story that crosses the line whether through you whether through campaigns whether through political satire programs or comedy you know. full well of all bad reporting has become the norm one of the latest stories from m.t.v. is about. mena in tripoli where you have all these small you know shops or kiosks on the beachfront and there is a story that they've turned into places for advice where all the bad things can be sold on board stories like that are published again without any verification have you send anyone there do you have any figures do you have any witness reports nothing it was just reported as a fact under but i want to tell you where m.t.v.
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stands we have no negative stances against displaced syrians but just people who work in media we have a duty to shine a light on problems that are present with some of those who are displaced. m.t.v.'s editor in chief says he doesn't recognize any bias in his channels reporting but the review of lebanese media does show a significant impact in two thousand and fifteen the beirut foundation studied a three week sample of refugee. coverage it found lebanon's print media focused more on security issues and the button of asylum than of things like integration exploitation or the rights of refugees the same was true of t.v. coverage where more time was given to rest and security procedures than other stories however it wasn't only the negative framing it was the source of the study
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found that journalists often simply republished reports exactly as they receive them from the security service suddenly have this idea the reader has an idea that all these criminals are serious the drug dealers the weapons dealers the cases of rape and sexual harassment all coming from syria as a. minimum there but that's because they're picking and choosing from the reports coming from the security service if you go to any of the security about celebrity look at their arrest warrants and reports you have lots of lebanese people there but the media focus on the syrians because it fits into this narrative about how syrians are basically the reason lebanon is. this summer a series of operations along the border with syria heightened fears about the threats posed by refugee fed a narrative that equates them with terrorists it began with two raids on refugee camps in high fat west soldiers were attacked by suicide bombers. hundreds of
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syrians were rounded up in response four died in the army's custody and allegations that the men were tortured were dismissed. the army has a kind of revered status and levanon that often puts it beyond criticism in a country divided by sect and religion is seen as one of the few symbols of unity in the weeks following the raid protests were banned hate speech spite and critics of the army faced harassment. but obama in but when i lift out of habit that she had been jay she looked many annoyed your message circulated on whatsapp calling on lebanese citizens to defend the army's on a. serious street.
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this was the kind of hates playing with here from some of the extreme parties during civil war which called for palestinians to leave entirely or that he was for supporting israel to wipe out palestinians from lebanon after that audio message came out there were two cases of syrians being beaten up. well. the police identified these men through the videos and they were arrested for their internet into this big wave of attacks on syrians however toxins are to happen they're often not documented as so this is not a new phenomenon. lebanese politicians particular cases of hate speech and violence but they have a track record of inciting the very same kind of fear of syria today you know you
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have a shot of the really. there's. also you know many here now now including you the baby here in lebanon politicians don't have to look far for a friendly voice in the media the man holding the three highest positions of power in the country the president the prime minister and the speaker of parliament all own a television channel when high profile politicians use refugees to deflect from their own shortcomings hyping up the existential demographic threats facing lebanon those fears are eventually reproduced in the media in some cases stories like this one of proving to be outright lies but not before the damage has been done we have an issue when it comes to how media is talking about syrian refugees the negative approach is dominant but that is because of the political discourse a lot of these outlets are encouraged by how politicians are talking about refugees
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they are and cottage how one is a pilot is out of banning syrian refugees from moving around they are imposing curfews on syrian refugees and nobody is stopping them so the media reflects that. given the structural makeup of media levanon separating journalism from politics is easier said than done what reporters can control is how they speak about the most marginalised people in society because when it comes to racism hatred of the other doesn't stop with syrian refugees we know deep well how people. speak about palestinian refugees the huge problem related to the messick workers in lebanon coming from south asia or from africa the fact that our country is somehow tolerant to racism is a very very important problem and unfortunately the media is not playing it through
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and actually educating citizens and trying to shift the debate to a more rational place this is a very very negative indicator of where our media outlets are heading. finally in china the reelection of xi jinping as general secretary of the communist party was headline news in every newspaper what struck us however was how uniform the front pages of state owned papers were from the layout right down to the images used none of that will have bothered dylan walker though he's a young american communist assign a file who appeared on a chinese talent show a few weeks back singing and old to the great leaders vision for the country will leave you with dylan's dulcet tones and a medley of made to order front pages the visuals are a tad repetitive but that's kind of the point was the next time you're at the listening post.
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fear is a very important source of information for many people around the world when all the cameras have gone i'm still here go into areas that nobody else is going talk to people that nobody else is talking to and bringing that story to the forefront. oh is it when they're on line we were in hurricane. almost like thirty six hours these are the things that has to address or if you join us on say i'm a member of a complex one but. a relationship this is a dialogue tweet us with hash tag a.j. stream and one of your pitches might make the next show join the global
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conversation at this time on al-jazeera. subzero temperatures. this is where the hard part because of the extraordinary journey from. ordinary joy. with too high oh there's no oxygen. just to experience a simple pleasure. risking it all. of this time on al-jazeera. and i'm down in jordan doha with the top stories here on al-jazeera u.s. president donald trump is vowing to step up so-called extreme vetting of foreigners after a truck was driven into song.

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