crisis coverage

Since 9/11, the documentation of conflict...often by civilians carrying camera-equipped mobile phones, whose footage can be viewed almost instantaneously across the globe—actually takes precedent in the public mind over context and analysis. In 2011, when history happens, it is more often than not a nonjournalist with a pocket camera, a blog or a Twitter account who files the initial dispatch.

THE mass media, including interactive social-networking tools, make you passive, can sap your initiative, leave you content to watch the spectacle of life from your couch or smartphone. Apparently even during a revolution. That is the provocative thesis of a new paper by Navid Hassanpour, a political science graduate student at Yale, titled “Media Disruption Exacerbates Revolutionary Unrest.”

The course of events in Libya over the past months validates what I have termed the "just enough" doctrine. The Obama administration successfully resisted pressure -- from Libyan rebels, European allies and domestic critics alike...

Information, or rather truthful information, is often difficult to come by in any war zone. Disinformation is a powerful tool that can be used to mislead the enemy, hide tactics, instigate fear or win public support. There is also the fog of war, the confusion in communications and the chaos of the battlefield that can obscure any objective understanding.

Voice of America’s Somali Service, which has been providing extensive coverage of the devastating drought in Africa, is now being offered to mobile phone users throughout Great Britain. VOA Director David Ensor says the new “call to listen” service is another example of the way technology can be harnessed to reach people who need information the most.

The best way to diffuse a sense of injustice for those people involved in the Arab Spring is through improving material circumstances, London said. British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in a speech before delegates at the British Council in London said the British government has committed more than $180 million during the next four years to development in the Arab world.

In the wake of any terrorist attack, Israeli governments struggle to maintain their footing, but after the Arab Spring, everything got more dramatic. The crisis began Aug. 18, with a multilayered, sustained terrorist attack along Israel's border with Egypt. Alarmed, the Israeli Defense Ministry took the unusual step of breaking the Jewish Sabbath to issue a statement of regret for the Egyptian deaths.

August 22, 2011

The scenes of the joyous reception for Libyan "Freedom Fighters" entering Tripoli with little resistance yesterday sent an electric shock through the Arab public...I don't see how anybody watching al-Jazeera, following Arab social media networks, or talking to people in the region could fail to appreciate the interconnected nature of Arab struggles