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Media on Media Roundup (August 16)

[Screenshot from Google Maps showing the absence of a label on Palestine/Palestinian territories] [Screenshot from Google Maps showing the absence of a label on Palestine/Palestinian territories]

This week’s Media on Media Roundup includes a special section dedicated to a discussion about the controversy surrounding Google Maps’ apparent omission of the Palestinian territories from the popular application. Much of the coverage has focused on the backlash Google is receiving despite their issuing of a press releases that maintains it action was merely a technical error.

In Israel, activists are reporting a local censor curtain being drawn by the government. Content on social media, in this case Twitter, that is deemed as undesirable for citizens’ viewing is placed on a block list that ensures nobody in Israel is allowed to access or see it.

These stories, and more, are available below in further detail. 

SPECIAL: Google Maps omits Palestinian Territories

Palestine removed from Google Maps claim journalists—But that’s not exactly the case
Source: Huffington Post UK
This article gives an overview of the recent media attention to the absence of Palestine from Google Maps.

Google Maps ‘removes Palestine’, says petition—but the truth is far more complicated
Source: The Independent
Google Maps users are outraged that Palestinian territory has seemingly been removed from the universally popular application. This article illustrates how even Google’s method of demarcating Palestinian territory is a political choice with massive implications, as evidenced by the backlash they have since received.

No, Google Says, It Did Not Delete ‘Palestine’ From Its Maps
Source: NYTimes
This piece aims to further highlight the public’s reaction to the incident, taking a closer look at the political messages it might hold. 

Google explains why Palestine isn't labeled in Maps
Source: Engadget
This piece clarifies Google’s position on the incident, which has caused major outcries among Arab social media users. 

Google Maps did not ‘delete’ Palestine—but it does impact how you see it
Source: Washington Post
This article highlights the implications of the deletion of the Palestinian territory from Google Maps.

Media and Politics

The last remaining doctors in Aleppo write open letter to Barack Obama pleading for help
Source: The Independent
In a move that is likely to put further pressure on the US government to act, the Independent have published a letter from doctors based in Aleppo, imploring Obama to intervene.

British special forces photographed on front line against Isis in Syria for first time as support for rebels continues
Source: The Independent
The BBC’s decision to leak photos of British special forces fighting against Isis in Syria makes for a surprising revelation. The photographs, showing special forces alongside US-backed rebels, suggests a proxy war of sorts as they are the same rebels that have been targeted by Russian forces.

Fractured lands: How the Arab World came apart
Source: New York Times
This 40,000-word piece explores the current political plight of the Arab world by focusing on how it touches the lives of six people. The product of 18 months of research and featuring extensive photographic documentation (including an VR-enabled experience for the online edition), this special feature represents an important entry in American reporting on the region.


Arab photo and video art gets showcased at London's Whitechapel Gallery
Source: The Creators Project
This article reviews the Imperfect Chronology exhibit at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, featuring contemporary Arab video and photo art.

Winners named in National Geographic Abu Dhabi’s annual Moments Photography Competition
Source: The National
This article reviews the latest NatGeo Abu Dhabi competition, which focused on food from the Arab world.

JMI to document media legacy of Great Arab Revolt
Source: The Jordan Times
The Jordan Media Institute has announced plans to open a museum dedicated to press coverage of the Great Arab revolt. Partnering with the US embassy in Amman, the first exhibit will focus on the work of Lowell Thomas, an American journalist who travelled with T.E. Lawrence.

Israel’s relationship with Palestinian filmmakers sees ups, downs
Source: Variety
This article explores the deadlock between Israel and Palestinian filmmakers, commenting the issues that Palestinians who are forced to seek funding from Israelis face.

Arab media reacts to Egyptian judo loss
Source: Ynetnews
This article, collated and prepared by an Israeli media outlet, aims to show how Arab media reacted to Egyptian Judoka Islam El Shehaby’s loss to Israeli Ori Sasson, knowing that the former have refused to shake his hand prior to the match.

Media Industries

Nilesat is the most common satellite provider in Egypt
Source: Zawya
This article reports on a recent study by the Arab Advisors Group which indicate that Nilesat is Egypt’s most popular satellite provider.

Iran to allow iPhone imports: state media
Source: The Daily Star
The Daily Star report on the Iranian government’s decision to allow iPhones to be imported for the first time after years of turning a blind eye to smuggling.

What Bibi gets wrong about Israeli media
Source: Al-Monitor
This article contends that despite the Netanyahu government’s rhetoric of portraying the Israeli press as left-leaning, the industry as a whole has deep ties to the state’s right wing.

Freedom of Journalists/Expression

Egypt bars police from talking to the media
Source: Reuters
This piece reports on Egypt’s recent decision to bar police from talking to the media, a motion that has caused heated debates among human rights and freedom of expression advocates.

‘We do not tolerate homosexuality in Qatar’
Source: Doha News
An anonymously submitted article about being gay in Qatar has recently stirred heated debate in the conservative country ahead of the 2022 football world cup, which is expected to attract a number of homosexual men/women from around the world. This piece is Doha News Editorial team defending their decision to publish the article in the first place.

How Israel is trying to enforce gag orders beyond its borders
Source: +972 Magazine
Pro-Palestinian blogger and activist Richard Silverstein finds that tweets coming from outside of Israel are being blocked to IP addresses inside the country, following on requests by the Israeli government.

Israeli journalists silent as their Palestinian colleagues are jailed
Source: +972 Magazine
Hundred days have passed since the arrest of Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal, who has been under administrative detention after a libel lawsuit being filed against him; Israeli journalists have shown no support for such violations of freedom of the press and expression.

"إعلاميو عبد الفتاح ينقلبون عليه ويدعمون ملف "إيكونوميست"
المصدر: مانشيت
عقب نشر ال ايكونوميست مقالاً تنتقد فيه اداء الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي، و ردَ وزير الخارجية المصري على الوسيلة الاعلامية، قام بعض الصحفيين و الاعلاميين المحسوبين على  رئيس الانقلاب عبد الفتاح السيسي، هجوما مفاجئا ولاذعا على أدائه في مؤسسة الحكم.

BDS: Game changer in Germany
Source: Electronic Intifada
Christoph Glanz recounts his personal experience facing threats and intimidation from pro-Israeli groups while he demonstrated his support for the BDS movement. A running theme in this article is the pro-Israeli groups’ tendency to take the internet to slander BDS and distort facts.

Shah's son issues appeal over Iranian activist held in Italy
Source: The Guardian
The son of the former Shah of Iran wrote to Italian authorities imploring them not to hand an activist over to the government, as he would likely face capital punishment for his critical stance. The Guardian makes note of the fact that in the last year alone, over 1,000 people were executed in the country.

Journalist Yosri Fouda continues his show on Deutsche Welle amid attacks
Source: Mada Masr
Yosri Fouda’s new program is facing a great deal of backlash from government loyalists for daring to critique a recent decision the Egyptian government made in transferring a number of islands to Saudi Arabia. MadaMasr offers a profile of Fouda along with an interview.

Iranian journalist jailed for 'insulting the supreme leader'
Source: The Guardian
This article illustrates the repressive government campaign in Iran against critical journalists, which is a clear-cut violation of basic rights to free speech.

Israel calls on citizens to ‘turn in’ boycott activists for deportation
Source: Mondoweiss
This article details a new campaign wherein Israeli authorities have called on citizens to report BDS supporters for deportation.

Oman criticizes newspaper after editor-in-chief detained
Source: Al Arabiya
An Omani editor-in-chief has been detained and made the subject of criticism from the government for making the country’s judicial system “a target of deliberate accusations meant to shake confidence.” This report also carries quotes from watchdog groups condemning the repressive act.

Internet goes dark in Daesh-held Mosul
Source: Anadolu Agency
This article explores the experiences of Mosul residents following Daesh’s pulling the plug on the internet throughout the city.

!حكاية وزير تلخص مأساة الصحافة العربية
المصدر: العرب
.المسؤولون العرب يحتقرون الاعلام و الصحافيين، واصفيهم بال"حمير"، هذه المقالة تسلّط الضوء على الواقع الذي يعيشه الكثيرين من المثقفين العرب

Social Media

فضاء آخر: الحنين إلى أبو محجوب في عصر الفيسبوك
المصدر: مدوّنة حبر
هذه المقالة تقوم بسرد الاحداث التي ادت الى تحوّل المواقع الاجتماعية من مدوّنات ومنتديات الى "فضاء اخر" كالفيسبوك. 

Media Practices

Rethinking the term 'honor killing'
Source: Deutsche Welle
After 2 recent ‘family killings’ in Pakistan, this article criticizes the media’s continued use the term ‘honor killing’, on the grounds that it frames the issue from the perpetrator’s view rather than the victim’s.

Baked swans and drowning refugees: The media should know better
Source: Middle East Eye
An op-ed piece calling news media to task for covering the refugee crisis and immigration in Europe in ways the author argues fuel xenophobia.

Risking death to document life in Syria
Source: MEMO - Middle East Monitor
Building on the case of Hussam Eesa (Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently PR representative), this article aims to show the importance of citizen journalism in areas like Syria.

إعلام.. أحمد بن سعيد
المصدر: عيون الخليج
هذه المقالة تقوم بانتقاد وسائل الاعلام العربية عبر التاريخ  التي امتثلت بالشعبوية و الانجرار خلف المشاعر.

أرشفة إعلامية إلكترونية في «قضاء أبوظبي» قريباً
المصدر: الامارات دوت
من اجل خلق نظام قضائي عادل، يأمل القيمون على هذا المشروع ان يحمي المستخدمين و تأمين قاعدة بيانات رقمية.

Foreign ministry slams Economist magazine for article criticizing Sisi’s policies
Source: Mada Masr
Following a critical article in the Economist about Egyptian president Sisi, the country’s foreign ministry launched their own scathing piece, condemning the critique, point by point. This appears to be a clear indication that the Egyptian government is desperate to avoid negative press.

Netanyahu’s Academy-award performance of dehumanization is why the conflict persists
Source: Mondoweiss
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video last week offering his ‘thoughts’ on why the ‘conflict persists’, clearly indicating that Palestinians are not normal human beings and that they do not value life. This article dissects the video and contends that it is precisely this distortion of reality that is the reason why the conflict persists.

The unique burden of covering climate change in the Middle East
Source: Pacific Standard
Mark Schapiro offers his account of navigating through the pitfalls of reporting on climate change, a topic that puts pressure on Arab authorities and by extension  journalists.

NYT Magazine devotes issue to charting Arab collapse (without ads)
Source: Publishers Daily
This article serves as a preview for an upcoming long-form New York Times piece titled “Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Part,” noting that it will likely be nominated for a Pulitzer and praising the decision to omit advertisements for the special issue. 


Andy Carvin talks about First Look Media shutting down on his social news wire
Source: Fortune
Reportedly, the social news-wire project which used social media platforms as a home for real-time news reporting, is set to shut down.

Behind the frontlines: Kiwi journalist Emma Beals reports on Syria, Iraq and Isis
Source: Stuff
Despite the off-putting reference to the journalist’s nationality, this article chronicles the events of freelance journalist Emma Beals while covering the Syrian civil war.

[The "Media On Media Roundup" is an initiative to survey published material in the news and broadcast media that deals with journalism, coverage, or mass communication practices about the region. These roundups are produced and curated in collaboration with the American University of Beirut's Media Studies Program. The items collected here do not reflect the views of Jadaliyya or the editors of the Media Page. You may send your comments or recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to] 

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