Interviewing Dictators

Gawker on Barbara Walter’s bad interviewing posture with Assad: she approached the encounter like a disappointed peer—Bashar, how could you?—rather than an interrogator granted a rare opportunity to force a world-historical villain to answer for his crimes. Can you imagine any reporter asking, say, Joseph Stalin this question: “Do you think that your forces cracked […]

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Marcel Ghanem Responds To Criticism of LBC Coverage of Myriam Ashckar

He misses the entire point. His defense is disingenuous and is suited more for an aggrieved relative than for the media covering the event. The point is not that he is not “allowed” to be angry (notice his classic use of conspiratorial  language), the point is that the media covering the event should put things in […]

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Shame on LBC and MTV

I was planning to write something about this, but Habib Battah (an investigative journalist I admire) made a very good job exposing the stations’ lack of professionalism, shamelessness and irresponsibility in reporting cases like those of Myriam Ashckar and Burj Hammoud’s immigrants: Rather than creating powerful content that educates and informs audiences, such organizations cynically mirror and […]

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So Why did They Kill it?

I was thinking about why Now Lebanon would censor its unhate blog post, and I came up with not just one, but many possible (good?) reasons: The men kissing men thing. Big taboo in Arab societies. The religious dimension: Sayyed Nasrallah is widely respected among Shiaas The money trail: Mr. Hariri pretty much owns Now Lebanon The […]

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Now Lebanon Kills Blog Post Showing Lebanese Leaders Kissing

This morning while browsing Now Lebanon’s blog I saw a post (now removed, but you can see a screenshot I took here) featuring a Lebanese version of the now-infamous Benetton unhate campaign, with a couple of posters that pair together Lebanese politicians in a similar kind of steamy embrace. I said to myself: There’s no way this […]

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Why a "Code of Ethics" For Journalists & Bloggers Is Not a Good Idea

Karl, responding to a suggestion by the Media Council for a code of ethics: The suggestion that online news sites should write a ‘code of ethics’ should [...] be dismissed outright. This attempt at formalising self-censorship is even more dangerous than outright state censorship. We have to trust editors and writers to make independent decisions […]

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❊ Lebanese Online Activism and Shoddy Journalism

Andy Carvin, the celebrated twitter curation machine and an authority on online reporting and news activism is currently in Beirut. When the Daily Star‘s Michelle Mathis interviewed him, this is what she wrote in her article: Lebanon still lags behind in terms of digital activism, despite the fact that elsewhere in the region social media has gone […]

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"Protecting" Lebanese Websites

Abdel-Hadi Mahfouz, head of the National Audio-visual Media Council, on why they want to build a database of Lebanese websites: Our recent decision to organize the online media will only protect websites from a future government ruling against them … if they are not registered or within our database, the government could easily ban them, […]

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R.I.P Antonio Cassese

He was a good man. I leave you with this enlightened piece of reporting by Al-Akhbar after Cassese’s resignation, as dug up by Qifa Nabki: Nashabe (who is the paper’s judicial affairs editor) claimed that the previous day’s resignation of Antonio Cassese from the presidency of the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was “likely prompted by a […]

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