In partnership with SFU's school of communication

Weekly Roundup – Jan. 26, 2014 to Feb. 8, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014 – Saturday, February 8, 2014

The weekly roundup offers a convenient summary of this week’s happenings in Media Democracy news. You may also keep up to date every day by following our Twitter account @MediaDemocDay and our Facebook group at

Thumbnail images do not belong to MDD. Images link to their source.

Sochi OlympicsFor Unvarnished Sochi News, Don’t Count on Russian Journalists: Report

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) releases a report on how Russian journalists are self-censoring their news stories in order to represent Russia in a particular manner.

From the article: “While reporting, a CPJ correspondent watched as a journalist with a major Russian news agency submitted three stories to the bureau in Moscow, Milashina and Ognianova report. One was about the arrest of a Sochi journalist, the second was about troubles with the water system at a complex where people evicted from their homes were housed, and the third was about bad weather in Sochi.

None of the three stories made it to the news wires. The Sochi correspondent told CPJ that her Moscow editor explained, “You may have a storm, a twister, and even a 9-Richter-scale earthquake; still, we have to write that all skies are clear over Sochi.”

ruGoogle and Youtube Suppress Russian Documentary on False Flag Terrorism

Google and YouTube, two of the world’s most dominant internet portals, worked to bury the Russia Today (RT) network’s Truthseeker series episode examining the history of “false flag” terrorism.

From the article: “With its September 8, 2013 debut on YouTube, RT’s Truthseeker episode notched 131,000 views in three days. Yet as the anniversary of 9/11 approached, YouTube curiously pulled the video from its search results, despite other popular channels like the MOXNEWS reposting it. “In both the RT and MOXNEWS cases,” Woodworth observes, “the viewer statistics on YouTube suddenly flat-lined on the morning of September 11 — like a heart monitor when a patient dies. The YouTube search engine had suddenly failed to locate these videos …”


AP430799708709-(1)-580Journalism Becomes a Crime in Egypt

Egypt’s new military-led regime has subjected journalists to months of passive-aggressive treatment and a few episodes of outright aggression.

From the article: “When Montaser Marai, a senior producer for Al Jazeera, covered the Egyptian uprising that brought down Hosni Mubarak, in early 2011, he hid in an empty apartment above Tahrir Square and stole naps on a cot in the protesters’ field hospital. Fearful that he might be arrested by the police or the military at any moment, he didn’t leave the square for nearly two weeks, until the day Mubarak stepped down. A camera that he set up to gaze down on Tahrir from the apartment provided overhead shots of the revolution that were seen by millions of people around the world. Those weeks exhausted Marai, but they were exhilarating.'”


datagrabTelecoms, Tell Us Where Our Data Goes

Canada’s Big Telecom corporations remain secretive about what is shared with the law and intelligence agencies.

From the article: “Concerns with telecom secrecy has become particularly pronounced in recent months with a steady stream of revelations that have painted a picture of ubiquitous surveillance that captures “all the signals all the time,” sweeping up billions of phone calls, texts, emails, and Internet activity with dragnet-style efficiency.

Canada’s role in the surveillance activities remains a bit of mystery, yet there is little doubt that Canadian telecom and Internet companies play an important part as intermediaries that access, retain, and possibly disclose information about their subscribers’ activities.”


Rally_iStockCounterframing Effects: Political Messages, Competition and Uncertainty

Scholars relay their current research standings on the effects that counterframing has on how citizens form their beliefs surrounding political issues.
From the article: “The way citizens form their beliefs about political issues — and how they fix on policy preferences — is complex, but research suggests there are some core truths about the dynamics of public opinion. Scholars have increasingly concluded that the messages of “elites” — politicians in office, party leaders — are more important than is often acknowledged, and political polarization can fundamentally change public opinion dynamics. This can be seen in the way views have shifted on issues such as climate change. The way rhetoric can shape how people value different considerations within an issue, referred to as “framing effects,” are also important. This can be seen in, for example, how Iowa voters respond to differently framed messages around immigration. Further, scholars have determined that the sequence and timing of messages are crucial variables; though large-scale political ad campaigns can help “prime” the attitudes of voters, the duration of these effects can be surprisingly brief.”


300px-NBC_logoThat NBC News Story is 100% Fraudulent

NBC recently published a story claiming that all those who connect to Wifi in Sochi will immediately be hacked. This is completely false.

From the article: “Instead, the hacking in the story was due to the hostility of Olympic themed websites. The only increased danger from being in Russia is geolocation. Google uses your IP address to increase the of rank local sites, so you’ll see more dodgy Russian sites in the results. You can disable this feature in your Google account settings.

Absolutely 0% of the story was about turning on a computer and connecting to a Sochi network. 100% of the story was about visiting websites remotely. Thus, the claim of the story that you’ll get hacked immediately upon turning on your computers is fraudulent. The only thing that can be confirmed by the story is ‘don’t let Richard Engel borrow your phone’.”



CPJ List: Where Press Freedom Suffered

The Committee to Protect Journalists compiles a list of 10 places where journalists and press freedom were at risk in 2013.

From the article: “CPJ developed the Risk List in 2012 to highlight countries where press freedom is on the decline. This year, we chose to add the supranational platform of cyberspace to the list because of the profound erosion of freedom on the Internet, a critical sphere for journalists worldwide. In 2013, CPJ also identified Egypt and Bangladesh, torn apart by political polarization, with journalists caught in the middle; Syria, which continues to be wracked by violent conflict; and authoritarian Vietnam. Also included are Ecuador, Liberia, Russia, Turkey, and Zambia–all nominal democracies where the space for free expression and independent news-gathering is rapidly shrinking.”

Comments are closed.