Monday 22 August 2011

Libya: Reporting the Advance on Tripoli

Rebel forces have jubilantly entered the Libyan capital Tripoli, although fighting still continues in several parts of the city.
For a round up of the latest news check out this list on the Small Wars Journal website.
Here are a few articles that have caught my eye relevant to the reporting of the rebel advance.
The BBC’s reporting
A) Blogger Iain Dale apologises for his tweet about the "wimp of a reporter on the BBC wearing a flak jacket" at the Rixos hotel.
"Last night in a highly volatile situation, the BBC team in Zawiya, along with other major broadcasters judged it was not safe to continue with the rebels on the road into Tripoli."
C) The convoy that Correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was travelling with runs into sustained fire from government forces. 
Praise for Sky News’ Coverage 
Correspondent Alex Crawford wins praise for her live coverage from the advance towards Tripoli facilitated by an Apple Mac Pro, a mini-satellite dish and a car cigarette lighter socket.
The Libyan Blogosphere
An analysis of coverage available on blogs by Global Voices
"Six months on and it is heartbreaking to look at how eerie the Libyan blogosphere is, row upon row of bloggers in Libya are silent because of the Libyan war. From the silent ones you realize that they are in the cities under Gaddafi control and therefore have no access to the internet."
Libya Twitter list
A useful list of Twitter users in Libya compiled by Mike Hills.

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Journalism and rumour busting in China

There has been lots of talk about journalists' role in refuting rumours on Twitter during the recent riots in the UK.

A slightly different take on the same issue has emerged in China with the establishment of a "rumour busting league" by former Xinhua agency journalist Dou Hanzhang.

The Financial Times reports that Mr Dou's league has been trying to expose "rumours" passed on by microbloggers since May.

But his site only attracted significant attention when it began attacking "rumours" surrounding government attempts to cover up details of last month's fatal rail crash.

According to the Southern Metropolis Daily, Mr Dou's league was rather selective in its definition of rumour:
“It targets only rumours that originate with ordinary people and neglects rumours created by the government, and uses official statements as the basis and starting point of its [campaigns]”.

Friday 5 August 2011

BBC's live updates of attacks on Norway

I've been looking at media coverage of the attack on Oslo and Utoeya, when a bomb in the Norwegian capital and a killing spree on the island left 76 dead.

I put the text of the BBC's live updates pages for the 22 and 23 July into Wordle and it created these two images for me.

The first is from the 22nd July - the day of the attack. 

The second is from the 23rd July, the day after the attacks:

Of course, Wordles look pretty but what do they tell us. Well, a few things struck me.

First, it shows how the focus of the BBC's story shifted from Oslo to Utoeya. "Oslo" is much more prominent in the Wordle when compared to "Utoeya" on 22 July than on 23 July .

The BBC began reporting that an explosion had occurred in Oslo on their live updates page at 15h30 (UK time) and initial news coverage focussed on the blast.

The shootings on Utoeya were first reported by the BBC 17h19. As events at Utoeya were unfolding during the evening, there was still plenty of Oslo-based reaction to report and details of what was happening on the island remained sketchy.

As the scale of the tragedy at the youth camp emerged overnight, the focus on 23 July shifted towards Utoeya. In the Wordle for 23 July, "Oslo" and "Utoeya" have similar weights.

Second, the Wordle shows the emergence of suspect Anders Behring Breivik on 23 July, the man arrested on Utoeya and who later admitted responsibility for the attacks.

Third, there was much more use of the word "Norway" on 23 July. In part, this may have been due to an increase in the number of general reactions published by the BBC to the attacks in the aftermath when there was less breaking news to report.
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