media diplomacy

Thanks to flimsy copyright laws in the region, Israeli and Palestinian television stations routinely tap into each other’s transmissions and broadcast them to their viewers. Since Gazans and Israelis are barred from entering each other’s territories, this swap of feeds often stands in for reporters on the ground.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised greater media freedom. So, why are so many journalists in prison and the overall rights situation deteriorating?  One year after President Hassan Rouhani took office, on August 4, 2013, with a popular mandate to bring change, journalism and media freedoms are in a state of disarray.

Today we take for granted that information warfare — whether the disruption of other nations’ computer systems, the monitoring of citizens’ telephone calls to detect terrorist threats or the use of social media to shape foreign attitudes — is a key tool of national security. But virtually all our concerns about such tactics find their roots in the Great War, particularly in its first hours, when the Alert’s hatchet-wielding crew began its work.

It’s been a couple of weeks since Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, delivered an historic address to the Australian Parliament, during a visit that attracted widespread media commentary here. But how was the visit covered by Japanese media?

Last year, the Syrian military-police photographer defected to the West. Investigators later gave him the code name Caesar to disguise his identity.  All told, Caesar helped smuggle more than 50,000 pictures out of Syria—his own and many others he downloaded that were taken by other photographers, according to activists working with him.

Israel's practice of 'roof knocking' before leveling buildings in Gaza is being documented by local residents, with examples being uploaded to YouTube.  The practice involves the Israel Air Force firing a small mortar shell onto the roof of a building it has designated for destruction. Residents then have a few minutes at best to clear out or face being caught in the rubble.

Prince Harry has notched up a royal first by recording a video message to thank the people of Brazil for their hospitality during his stay in the country.  It is a long-standing custom for members of the Royal family to write to their hosts to thank them after they have been abroad, but the Prince’s message is the first to be filmed.

Look out, mainland China: Batman, cloaked in the cause of Hong Kong independence, is coming to get you, along with the cast of 2012's special-effects filled, genre-busting summer extravaganza Cloud Atlas.