The Meedan Blog Archive

On the Meedan Radar - April 2013

Journalism & Tech

Guardian report: How Brown Moses exposed Syrian arms trafficking from his front room

It is a bit like playing the piano. On an average day you might manage Chopsticks but you never get close to a symphony. When journalists search Google, even the Advanced version, they do not automatically think tactics - they are usually too busy for nerdy tricks. But all social networks, for instance, have advanced search facilities and they can be extremely useful newsgathering tools.

Absi Smesem became the editor in chief of a new weekly Syrian newspaper hoping to leave behind what he disparaged as the “Facebook phase” of the uprising.The tall tales and outright misinformation that tainted so much reporting from Syria convinced him that more objective coverage was essential to bolster the effort to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

 This clearly fake tweet reads: "If the protesters storm the Muslim Brotherhood HQ, we'll turn Egypt into Syria in less than 24 hours."

The Syria story has a big data problem. It’s not just video, it’s all kinds of user-generated content from the ground. One bombing, one battle, or one speech by Assad yields dozens of articles saying roughly the same thing, and television pieces with the same one or two clips.


Media Freedom in the Middle East


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