Monthly Archives: November 2010

Online personalities in China

Tom Crampton posted a great graphic from the Ogilvy Beijing Social Media team describing the social media users in China.

China’s Social Network Personalities

It would be great if someone were do to this for the USA and other countries as well.

If soccer (football) is the great unifier for the world (except for the States), then maybe distilled versions of online personalities might help different cultures link up.

But even if you just forget the cross cultural stuff. Face it, this project would be fun.

Hello, WIRED. Are you listening.

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Filed under China, Connections, Story Ideas

BBC Interview with Trudeau

I’ve always liked Doonesbury. I even once clipped each strip to save posterity. Eventually I got rid of all of them and bought the books.

Well, Doonebury is 40 this year.

Here is an interview on the BBC with Garry Trudeau talking about the strip and the past four decades.

The Interview: Garry Trudeau

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Filed under International News Coverage

Interesting info or just tittle-tattle

The Economist has an interesting take on the Wikileaks State Dept. cables.

WikiLeaks degenerates into gossip

It’s part of the nature of human communication that one doesn’t always say the same thing to every audience. There are perfectly good reasons why you don’t always tell the same story to your boss as you do to your spouse.


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Filed under Freedom of Information, International News Coverage

Freelance journalists face danger from all sides in south Asia

Journalists in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have freedoms few in the region can enjoy. And at the same time, the threats to their lives is ever-present.

Mustafa Qadri reports in the Sunday Guardian (In south Asia, independent journalism is a real risk) that journalists are heavily restricted from independently reporting India’s continued crackdown on Kashmiri independence protests. And that journalists in Pakistan face greater threats. Earlier this month journalist and activist Abdul Hameed Hayatan was found dead in Balochistan after being kidnapped in October.

In September Umar Cheema was kidnapped by what appeared to be a police patrol while driving home in Islamabad.

“They stripped me naked and tortured me,” he recalled. Tied upside down, Cheema was badly beaten and had his eyebrows, moustache and hair shaved in a six-hour ordeal after which he was thrown on to a highway some 125 kilometres from his home in Islamabad.

Cheema realised his captors were in part of Pakistan’s secretive intelligence agencies. His transgression — in their eyes — was not the usual issue of military atrocities but rather its incompetence in prosecuting persons accused of killing army personnel.

Cheema had earlier faced the wrath of the army when he wrote about two commandos who were court-martialed because they suggested negotiating during a hostage situation in 2007.

Few think anything will get done even as the situation for journalists’ safety worsens.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists no one has been prosecuted for murdering a journalist in Pakistan except in the Daniel Pearl case. Civilian authorities set up a judicial commission to investigate Cheema’s abduction, but it appears to be languishing and there have been no significant investigations of army authorities.

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Filed under Asia, Harassment, Killings

BBC discusses when and why to hold back on a story

First posted at DC SPJ.

The BBC wanted to report on the situation of Paul and Rachel Chandler, a British couple who spent more than a year kidnapped in Somalia. It was a major story but legal steps taken by the Chandler family prevented the media from saying anything until the Chandlers were released.

The BBC program Over to You discussed why the Beeb — and other news outlets in Britain — were not able to report the story: The Chandlers: Censorship in a good cause?

The couple’s family had gone to court in the UK and asked a judge to grant them what’s called a ‘super-injunction ‘ – a legal measure that’s caused controversy as it has often been used by celebrities to stop newspapers publishing stories about their private lives.

As it’s also illegal even to refer to the existence of a super-injunction, the BBC could not explain to listeners and viewers why they were quiet on the story when others, who did not obey the ban – were not. Was this something that concerned the Editor of BBC World News, Jon Williams?

He explained that while the BBC is not in the business of censoring the news, no story is worth a life – and so the BBC accepted the argument of the family, their lawyers and the judge that to do otherwise would jeopardise the safety of Paul and Rachel Chandler.

So, as the Over to You editor asks: “What do you think?”

Should the BBC and other news outlets have violated the court injunction and report what they had?


Filed under Connections, International News Coverage