North Africa and the Middle East

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Humanitarian Reporting in Pakistan: Journalists’ Handbook

This handbook provides an intimate insight into the connections between media and humanitarian crisis responses. In the devastating Pakistan earthquakes of 2005, many journalists were killed and many more were unable to issue reports because of limited resources. In response to the disaster, a local Pakistani radio media program was initiated to provide the community with information. Chapter 4 of the handbook deals with humanitarian media specifically, and it includes an interview with Mark Frohardt, who has coordinated United Nations relief missions for refugees and victims of human rights violations. Though Frohardt’s answers are very factual and to the point, they provide the reader a glimpse into the mind of a man who has first-hand knowledge of the subject and has aided people in Sudan, Thailand, Cambodia, Somalia, Chad, Bosnia and Rwanda.

Hardman, Jesse. “Humanitarian Reporting in Pakistan: Journalists’ Handbook.” Internews Network Pakistan. April 2010. Pgs. 9-12. Web. 2 July 2012. <http://www.internews.org/sites/default/files/resources/HumanitarianReporting_JournalistsHandbook_Pakistan_.pdf>.

 

Worldwide Release of ‘S.O.S: Siege on Syria’

Several governments in North Africa and the Middle East have subjected their citizens to cruel and unusual punishments, violations of the peoples’ rights as human beings. The film S.O.S: Siege on Syria sheds light on the atrocities committed specifically in Syria and aims to spread awareness around the world, calling for the resignation of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and for the immediate deliverance of relief to the Syrian people. The film, released by The Cinema for Peace Foundation, has already received critical acclaim. It makes each of us question ourselves: have we done anything to help the people in Syria? As a Syrian activist in the film says, “Everyone that can say a word and doesn’t say that word, the blood of the people dying is on their hands.”

“Worldwide Release of ‘S.O.S: Siege on Syria.’ ” Cinema for Peace Foundation. Web. 3 July 2012. <http://www.cinemaforpeace-foundation.com/worldwide-release-of-s.o.s-siege-on-syria>.

 

‘5 Broken Cameras’: Can West Bank Film Change Israel?

For decades, the deadly conflict between Israel and Palestine has been a staple in newspapers in the U.S. and around the world. The documentary 5 Broken Cameras looks at the violence in the West Bank region of Palestine through the eyes of Palestinian journalist Emad Burnat. The film examines the complicated relationship between Palestinian civilians and the Israeli soldiers as Burnat documents the daily violence that he and his community experience because of the Israeli soldiers’ occupation. Though the film does have the capability of opening eyes in Israel over the bloodshed in the West Bank, author Dan Ephron doubts that many Israelis will be interested in viewing the film. These Israelis believe that there have already been too many attempts for peace.

Ephron, Dan. “ ‘5 Broken Cameras’: Can West Bank Film Change Israel?” The Daily Beast. 22 June 2012. Web. 13 July 2012. <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/22/5-broken-cameras-can-west-bank-film-change-israel.html>.

 

A travel grant story goes viral on YouTube

Before 2010, local radio stations were popular throughout Pakistan for their cooking programs, music, and talk shows. But when devastating floods struck Pakistan, radio’s content shifted. Soon, the most popular programs were humanitarian aid programs that instructed people how to survive. In the month after the floods, local Pakistani radio stations gained enormous audiences. The radio stations began to understand that it was their responsibility to provide listeners with quality information, so they began collaborating with international news corporations, like BBC, to create valuable programs. In a country that experienced such a devastating disaster, it is powerful to see the impact radio has on a large population, in particular the families that live in remote areas.

“A travel grant story goes viral on Youtube.” Internews. 26 October 2010. Web. 13 July 2012. <http://www.internews.org/our-stories/press/travel-grant-story-goes-viral-youtube>.

 

Forgotten Humanitarian Crises

The media controls what information reaches the public. It has the ability to focus on one crisis and to ignore another, and this selectivity comes at the expense of those whose voices are left unheard. Media also seeks to keep its viewers, readers and listeners constantly interested. However, because there is always a newer and more exciting story, humanitarian crises are often forgotten quickly. This essay examines the role that media plays in broadcasting humanitarian crises. It also goes one step further to analyze the reasons why media sources stop broadcasting crisis updates. Granted, it is impossible to report every world crisis. Nevertheless, the media has a responsibility to continuously provide crisis updates, giving the affected people a voice they did not previously have.

“Forgotten Humanitarian Crises.” Conference on the Role of Media, Decision-makers and Humanitarian Agencies. 23 October 2002. Web. July 2012. <http://ics-www.leeds.ac.uk/papers/pmt/exhibits/1999/ForgottenCrises-oct02.pdf>.

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