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Foreign Media
Media Blinks reports the news of foreign media who relates or make effect on Pakistani Media.

BBC Urdu failed to launch new design more interactive than previous
BBC Urdu’s official website who announced new responsive design for Urdu official website is failed to deliver a good and interactive design as previous. It is not first time that BBC is changing its design for urdu official website. Continuously changes and errors proves that BBC is  still fail to get what BBC’s team wants.


DoorDarshan News Anchor Pronounced wrong name of Chinese President, Lost her Job

A Doordarshan anchor has reportedly lost her job after she read the name of Chinese president Xi Jinping as “Eleven” Jinping in a late-night bulletin on national television.

The casual newsreader mistook ‘Xi’ in the Chinese president’s name to be the Roman letter for 11, forcing her to make the embarassing faux pas.

“It’s true, we have sacked the concerned newsreader. We are putting systems in place to make sure such things don’t happen in future,” Prasar Bharti chief Jawahar Sircar has said.


Late night bulletins at the state-run Doordarshan are usually read by casual news readers who work on contract and are not on the broadcaster’s payroll.

Jinping on Friday will conclude his three-day visit to India, marked by an unusual bonhomie and a series of agreements signed between the two nations.

While anchoring the late night bulletin on DD News, a ‘casual’ anchor, pronounced Chinese President Xi Jinping’s name as ‘Eleven’ Jinping, obviously confusing Xi with the Roman numerical for eleven.

According to this report in The Indian Express, the inexperienced news anchor, who has since been removed, was put on the show as the main anchors choose not to present the late night broadcasts.

President Xi Jinping, who is on a three-day visit bi-lateral visit to India, has signed 12 key bilateral documents promising India investments worth $30 billion.

This, however, is not the first time that news anchors have got his name wrong.

This compilation of French news presenters will show you how many ways Xi can be pronounced.

The blunder occurred late Thursday night in a report by India’s public broadcaster Doordarshan on President Xi Jinping’s high-profile first state visit to India.

After hours of unconfirmed reports, Doordarshan announced Friday afternoon on its official Twitter handle that the anchor in question had been sacked but declined to name them.

“Please Take Note: DD (Doordarshan) News Anchor who mispronounced Chinese President’s name has been disengaged,”


The blunder is an embarrassment for the government of India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who rolled out the red carpet for Xi, spending his 64th birthday hosting a dinner for the Chinese president in a luxury riverside tent in his home city Ahmedabad.

The official said a shortage of news readers had forced the channel to run some news bulletins with casuals.

Women and Media: Africa in Focus

Join the BBG and Gallup for a discussion about women’s media consumption habits across Africa, and how those choices impact their lives.

african-female-journalsitsAn emerging body of evidence shows that investing in opportunities for women can yield economic, health and even national security benefits for all. Many U.S. agencies and other organizations are working to improve the lives of women around the globe, resulting in a growing need to better understand which media platforms are most likely to reach them. Please join the BBG and Gallup for a conversation focused on this question.

A keynote, followed by a deep dive into the data, and roundtable discussion will comprise this event.

Presenters will include:

  • Tara Sonenshine, Distinguished Fellow, George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs and former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
  • Sonja Gloeckle, Director of Research, IBB
  • Magali Rheault, Regional Research Director, Francophone Africa, Gallup

Date/Time: Tuesday, September 23 2014 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM


Gallup World Headquarters
901 F Street, NW
(Entrance on 9th Street)
Washington, DC 20004

This event is free, but registration is required.

This event is on the record and will be recorded for future viewing.


For more information, please call the BBG’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4400
or email publicaffairs@bbg.gov

Gender politics of British television: British Women Dominating on TV

Radio Times has claimed that a “revolution” has taken place in the gender politics of British television with “more and more British women dominating the screens and airwaves both on and off screen”.


The magazine published a “powerlist” of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting, citing presenters Kirsty Wark and Kirstie Allsopp alongside the BBC controllers Charlotte Moore (BBC1) and Kim Shillinglaw (BBC2).

Contrary to previous reports that television is a medium which discriminates against older women, the powerlist was comprised of women aged between 39 and 79, with the exception of actor Sheridan Smith, 33. Among the septuagenarians on the list were Mary Berry, star of The Great British Bake Off, and the actress Anne Reid, who are both 79.

Radio Times said it had decided to draw up the list after interest in the BBC’s choice of female duo Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman as hosts of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.


Alison Graham, television editor of Radio Times, said that the controversy surrounding this casting – without a male presenter – showed “just how pitifully slowly television has reacted to the seismic changes in wider society”.

“For more years than I care to remember a woman’s place on television has routinely been on a slab, the decorously eviscerated victim of some serial killer or other,” she said. “But luckily a revolution has been rumbling quietly in the background and it’s now reached the foreground as clever, talented and formidable women prove that our gender provides much more than disposable props.”

The list was chosen by a panel headed by Jenni Murray, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Also on the panel was Amanda Berry, chief executive of Bafta, Emma Freud, a founder of Comic Relief, and the quizmaster Richard Osman, co-presenter of BBC1 show Pointless.

The chief executive of Women in Film & Television, Kate Kinninmont, welcomed the list but said it also suggested a lack of women in the production side of the business.

“These names provide a role model for young women who are thinking of coming into the television business and can see that it’s not just female actors who have the chance of careers but also other people behind the scenes,” she said. “But where we don’t have so many women is in writing, directing and the crew. There are no cinematographers, there are no sound people, no editors and no composers.”

Ms Kinninmont, who is a former BBC producer, said that almost all of the women on the list were well known and she would like to see greater analysis of the production credits.

Daisy Goodwin, founder of Silver River Productions, said: “Because there are so many women working in television we think we have sorted it – but I’m still amazed by how few women there are right at the very top.”

The Government’s naming of Rona Fairhead as the potential first female chair of the BBC Trust was “quite revolutionary”, she said. “That has been a job for the boys so I’m delighted it has gone to a woman.” Ms Fairhead’s nomination came too late for the powerlist.

The list in full

  1. Olivia Colman, actor
  2. Mary Berry, presenter
  3. Clare Balding, presenter
  4. Julie Walters, actor
  5. Victoria Wood, comedian
  6. Dawn French, comedian/actor
  7. Sheridan Smith, actor
  8. Mary Beard, presenter
  9. Sarah Lancashire, actor
  10. Joanna Lumley, actor
  11. Claudia Winkleman, presenter
  12. Sarah Millican, comedian
  13. Kirstie Allsopp, presenter
  14. Miranda Hart, comedian
  15. Anne Reid, actor
  16. Kirsty Wark, presenter
  17. Heidi Thomas, writer
  18. Abi Morgan, writer
  19. Beryl Vertue, producer
  20. Sue Vertue, producer
  21. Jay Hunt, chief creative officer, Channel 4
  22. Sally Wainwright, writer
  23. Nicola Shindler, founder, Red production company
  24. Elisabeth Murdoch, founder, Shine production company
  25. Pippa Harris, co-founder Neal Street Productions
  26. Charlotte Moore, controller, BBC1
  27. Helen Boaden, director, BBC Radio
  28. Anne Mensah, head of drama, Sky
  29. Hilary Bevan Jones, producer
  30. Kim Shillinglaw, controller, BBC2

Story by: The Independent

The truth behind the Pakistani infiltration

By Soumyadipta Banerjee, bollywoodjournalist.com

Suddenly Pakistani actors are turning out to be hot property in Bollywood… and a hot topic at filmi parties as well. Reason: So many A-list Pakistani actors making their debut in Bollywood all of a sudden.
According to the trade, it’s the best phase that Pakistani actors have ever enjoyed in Bollywood.

Imran Abbas Naqvi is making his debut soon opposite Bipasha Basu

Imran Abbas Naqvi is making his debut soon opposite Bipasha Basu

So much so that leading Pakistani newspapers are now publishing  articles, suggesting more names of Pakistani actors who deserve a chance in Bollywood.

Some film experts-cum-journalists-cum-PR professionals are even suggesting that Pakistani actors are replacing prominent Bollywood actors in top-of-the-line Bollywood projects.

In short, Pakistani actors are rocking and rolling in Bollywood more than ever before, and they are here to stay. And if things go this way, they will start replacing accomplished Bollywood actors.
They are good looking, they are sexy, they are experienced and they are adding so much value to Bollywood films.
Really? Let’s find out.
We all know that Bollywood doesn’t do anything without a strong enough reason and more often than not, these reasons are directly proportional to the money they intend to make from their films. Not one actor, PR or director does a favour to anyone unless it spells good business for them.
So, what can be the reason behind this recent fad of hiring Pakistani star actors and offering them ‘pivotal’ roles left, right and centre?
The reality is: Pakistani actors are being hired for only those roles that no established Bollywood actor would ever do and where newcomers cannot fill in.
In short, with Bollywood making more money than ever before, Pakistani actors are filling up a void that Bollywood actors cannot fill themselves.
Let me explain this with two examples.

fawad khanFawad Khan

Fawad Khan:  He is one of the most popular stars in Lollywood (Pakistanis call their film industry in Lahore, Lollywood).

Fawad gained considerable Indian fans (mostly women) after the hit Pakistani serial Zindagi Gulzar Hai aired in India.

The same serial made him a superstar in Pakistan, a few years back.

Fawad is now making his Bollywood debut in a role opposite Sonam Kapoor where he is playing the scion of a royal family.

If you look at the character sketches, you will understand that the film revolves around Sonam Kapoor who comes to the royal palace and makes a mess of the royal traditions that ruled the life of people in the palace.
Sonam in her own sweet way, charms everybody there — they dance with her, cheer her and ultimately fall in love with her. Sonam, in turn, falls in love with the dashing ‘Rajkumar’ of the palace, played by Fawad Khan.
Who among the Bollywood heroes will do this role? Not any of the Khans, Roshans, Kapoors for sure. Neither will the Bollywood heroes who are placed immediately below the top rung (for example Shahid Kapoor or Saif Ali Khan).
The reason is very simple. It is the hero who is the eye candy here. He is just supporting the main protagonist, played by Sonam Kapoor.
Okay, so will any C-list actor be able to fill up this space? No again, because it’s opposite Sonam Kapoor and you need a well-known actor for the role. The actors in the C-list, won’t do this role for sure because it won’t help their dream to become a Bollywood hero.
What about bringing in a newcomer? Well that is not financially viable. A newcomer would need promotions to such extent that he can match Sonam Kapoor’s stature and justify being her hero. So not happening.
Is there a solution? Yes. The solution is to bring in an actor who has experience, some brand-value and won’t mind supporting the protagonist in the film as well as during promotions.
The best solution, therefore, is hiring a known name from Pakistan.
The best solution is Fawad Khan!

Humaima Malik

Humaima Malik

Humaima Malik: The case of Humaima Malik is not much different from Fawad Khan.

Emraan Hasmi has recently done two films with Vidya Balan (The Dirty Picture and Ghanchakkar).

In both the cases, Vidya Balan had a more prominent role than Emraan. In other films, where Emraan was pitched opposite a newcomer, considerable money was spent to launch her and promote her.

This, of course, ate into Hashmi’s promotion budget because. Given the story-lines of these films, the heroine had not much to do in the film and yet they had to be promoted along with film. Lakhs of rupees were spent on these heroines even though she’s just Emraan’s arm candy.
So, what’s the solution? Again, bring in an experienced hand who has some brand value. The heroine’s brand value will help in the film’s promotion while the focus remains firmly on the hero.
Of course, the top glam dolls or actresses in the industry like Katrina Kaif, Deepika or Priyanka won’t take a second look at the role. Neither will any of the younger heroines like Parineeti, Shraddha or Aalia — because all of them do only those roles where they get enough screen space to show their acting skills.
Newcomers aren’t welcome because promoting them would mean allocating a huge budget for it.
So, what’s the solution? Yes! Hire a trained Pakistani gun and fire from all cylinders at promotional gigs.
Now apply the same logic to all the films that have hired Pakistani actors opposite the male or female leads.
There, you get the whole picture.
The established Pakistani actors are filing up a void in Bollywood which no established Indian actor would aspire for.
At best, they are blocking the prospects of newcomers who could have gotten a chance to star for a big banner.
By hiring Pakistani actors, Bollywood is saving money. Pakistani actors have reduced the promotional budgets of a film which would have shot up, had a newcomer been hired for those roles.
All this just makes better business sense.
It’s the bitter truth, dear Pakistani readers, but it had to be told.

But on behalf of Bollywood, let me take this opportunity and say, ‘thank you’.

Journalist for 17 years. An idealist, aspiring novelist, wannabe yogi...a reined in wanderer. columnist.

Ranjiv Gandhi Excellence award for Pakistani journalist Reema Abbasi

NEW DELHI: Karachi based Reema Abbasi, author of the recently launched book, ‘Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience’ has won the ‘best literary personality of the year’ at the Fifth Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Awards organized in New Delhi.

Journalist for 17 years. An idealist, aspiring novelist, wannabe yogi...a reined in wanderer. columnist.
Journalist for 17 years. An idealist, aspiring novelist, wannabe yogi…a reined in wanderer. columnist.

The event was attended by many and organized by the Non-government organization, Pehchaan- it is run by a hub of significant media professionals,activists and policymakers to concentrate on nurturing the girl child.

‘Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience,’ is a book-length attempt to record in pictures the history of an Islamic country’s Hindu past,especially as extremist activity mounts against Pakistan’s religious and ethnic minorities, including Ahmadis, Christians, Sikhs and Shia Muslims.




“For the past 10 years my writings have maintained a focus on the values of secularism, tolerance and a pluralistic milieu. This book is basically a culmination of that journey.
This particular journey has culminated but the quest is on”, says Reema Abbasi about her decision to travel rigorously for a year and write this book.
The author says the process began as a guerrilla project for her and Aijaz, their travels taking them across the country to Balochistan, Sindh, and Peshawar.

Abbasi traveled the country to write this narrative covering about 40 old religious sites including the Hindu temples in the jagged terrain of the western part of Balochistan. She also visited the Thar Desert and the Indus River Valley in the state of Sindh as well as Karachi, Lahore in Punjab and dangerous sketches of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with the Afghanistan border.

But first, let them take a selfie.

Sonam Kapoor pouts and Fawad smiles

But first, let them take a selfie.
But first, let them take a selfie.

Due to release in September 2014, Khoobsurat is a remake of a 1980 film of the same name. The lead actor and actress will be seen July 27 on the show Comedy Nights With Kapil — an Indian comedy show that features celebrity guests who usually appear to promote their latest films. The film is directed by Shashanka Ghosh, while the production credits stay in Kapoor’s family, with her sister and father taking on the responsibility. Sonam pouts and Fawad smiles (sigh) as he takes a selfie. We cannot get over that gorgeous hair — Fawad’s that is.


Steven Spielberg is set to produce a live-action series based on the Halo video game

Microsoft closes Xbox TV production unit

Xbox Entertainment Studio will close by the end of the year, Xbox chief Phil Spencer told employees in an email.
The firm employs 127,000 globally, including 3,500 staff in the UK.

Microsoft’s plan to compete with Netflix and Amazon by producing its own TV shows has come to an early end, as the firm announces 18,000 job cuts.

The studio launched to great fanfare in 2012, having secured Steven Spielberg to produce a spin-off of the military-themed sci-fi video game, Halo.

That show will go ahead, despite the studio’s closure, Microsoft said.

Five other shows had been given the green light, and a further 11 were in development.

Steven Spielberg is set to produce a live-action series based on the Halo video game
Steven Spielberg is set to produce a live-action series based on the Halo video game

The majority were male-friendly titles, with ties to the company’s major video game franchises, including Gears of War, Age of Empires, Fable and Forza Motorsport.

Only one had made it to air – Every Street United, a football-themed reality show, which debuted last month.

Documentary programme Signal to Noise and a second Halo spin-off, Halo: Nightfall, written by Prison Break creator Paul Scheurin, are already in production and will be not be cancelled.

Humans, a co-production with Channel 4 in the UK, is also expected to go ahead.

A remake of a Swedish series about humans living with robot servants, the eight-episode drama is scheduled to debut next year.

“Xbox will continue to support and deliver interactive sports content like NFL on Xbox, and we will continue to enhance our entertainment offering on console by innovating the TV experience through the monthly console updates,” said Microsoft in a statement.

The closure comes against the background of major cuts at the technology firm.

Up to 18,000 jobs will go, the majority from its phone unit Nokia, which Microsoft bought in April.

Media Internship, Media Diversity Institute, NEW York

Marija Sajkas
Marija Sajkas

Media Diversity Institute, an international NGO based in London with a newly opened office in New York City is looking for a Journalism and Social Media Intern who will be responsible for improving and growing digital media presence across various platforms and who will write, create and develop a quality content for the existing MDI website in order to attract and to interact with the audience in the U.S.
This is an ideal position for a Journalism and/or Media and Communications student who is passionate about media, social media and digital communications strategies.

Please send brief summary of experience, and your ideas to Marija Sajkas, the Head of MDI-US Development and Operations at

This is primarily a telecommuting position. Women, immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ, and differently-abled people are strongly encouraged to apply. The deadline is July 20th. ​

Please note this is not a paid position.

Ramallah (June 12) Palestinian security services assaulted a large group of journalists who were covering a sit-in organized by female Hamas activists against the political detention of Hamas members at the Manara roundabout in Ramallah. According to their testimonies, the security forces insulted them, confiscated some of their equipment, and prevented them from filming the event.

Israel-Palestinian-JournalistThose assaulted were the cameraman of the Filistin Al-Yom TV cameraman Hadi Al-Dibbs, the photo-journalist Muhammad Jaradat, the correspondent of MaanTV FirasTannina, the chief editor of Watan TV Ali Daraghma, Maan cameraman Ahmad Milhim, the cameramanof Palestinian Public TVAnas Abu Arqoub, the photo-journalist Sa’idHawari, the cameraman of transmediaMuathAmarne, and the photographer of Al-Nadul agency MuathMashaal.

Al-Dibbs told MADA that plain clothes security forces attacked and punched him, then tried to seize his camera and prevented him from taking photos. He reports having injuries on his face.

Muhammad Jaradat explained to MADA that while he was taking photos from his office overlooking Manara square, security forces suddenly raided his office, tried to take his camera, and then took him to the police station. He was released after a short while. He added that his colleague Anas Abu Arqoub was also detained and then released, and that Sa’edHuwari was also attacked.

Firas Tannina reported that the security forces were pushing the journalists violently and seizing their cameras. He explained that when he tried to calm them down, saying that they were journalists and ought to be treated with respect, they hit him. He added that he suffers from severe pain in his right arm and has received medical treatment from the Red Crescent.

Ali Daraghma indicated that the security forces tried to hit him and to detain him while he was covering the demonstration with his colleague Ahmad Milhim. He was hit in the chest and suffers from pain in the thorax.

MuathAmarne reported that the security forces attacked him and hit him with their hands and cudgels. They also broke his camera. He added that he was later on brought to the police station where hereceived a fair treatment. He has filed an official complaint against the aggressor. He reported several bruises in his face and neck, and pains in different parts of his body.

MADA condemns in the strongest words these attacks on journalists, which constitute a flagrant violation of media freedoms and freedom of expression. MADA demands an end to these assaults, which have witnessed a worrying escalation since the beginning of the current month. MADA also requests that an investigation committee be immediately formed and that those responsible be held accountable.




The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) in condemning an attack on a journalist on Sunday, June 7.

Thakur Gurung, the news editor of Radio Bihani in Dhading district, was attacked in Bansathali, Kathmandu by an unidentified group while he was returning from a program that he attended in the capacity of a journalist.

He sustained serious injuries on his head, right hand and chest; and was rushed to the Janamaitri Hospital, where he is continuing to receive medical treatment.

The FNJ General Secretary Ujir Magar said: “An attack on a journalist is an activity against the press freedom and freedom of expression.”

The IFJ and the FNJ have called for an  immediate investigation to locate the perpetrators and bring them justice.

The IFJ said: “Security of journalists is a big issue in Nepal to which the state has failed to deal with adequately. The IFJ has documented a deteriorating trend around journalists attacks and impunity and it is time the Nepalese government worked out a plan to ensure journalists’ safety and bring an end to impunity.” 

journalist Anna Politkovskaya
journalist Anna Politkovskaya
journalist Anna Politkovskaya

Justice not yet done… its the view point of Editorial board of Washington Post. this is being uploaded just to project opinion of an other side. THE REUTERS photograph from a Moscow courtroom during the sentencing this week of five men in the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya spoke volumes. The defendants were not somber or respectful. Instead they were laughing and smiling after two of them were sentenced to life in prison and the others received long terms for their roles in shooting Ms. Politkovskaya to death in the entrance to her Moscow apartment building on Oct. 7, 2006.

They are laughing, but Russia should not be. Although a court has delivered harsh sentences to the men who carried out the shooting, there has been no progress toward finding out who ordered the killing, as someone surely did. Ms. Politkovskaya was singularly courageous in her journalism and highly critical of President Vladi­mir Putin and the brutality of the war he prosecuted in Chechnya. Someone wanted her intrusive, resolute inquiries to stop. That person still is free and undetected.

Mr. Putin attempted to belittle Ms. Politkovskaya after her death, saying her reporting was “extremely insignificant for political life in Russia.” He was wrong about that; she was as fearless as any reporter of her generation. The sadly incomplete investigation into her murder exposes a profound gap in Mr. Putin’s years in power.

Outwardly and superficially, Russia possesses a system of courts, law enforcement agencies, lawmaking chambers of parliament, prosecutions and trials. But that is not enough. Under Mr. Putin, Russia has not achieved the simple standard of a rule-of-law state: that no one, absolutely no one, not even the president and his Kremlin pals, is above the law.

There was hope when Mr. Putin first took office in 2000 that the former KGB man would fill the vacuum left by outgoing President Boris Yeltsin and bring real change. He promised as much. But the hard truth is that Mr. Putin has led Russia backward. The most egregious cases of abuse — the prosecution of oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the death in prison of whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky, the pursuit of the Bolotnaya demonstrators — came on Mr. Putin’s watch as president or prime minister. He presides over a state in which unchecked power is wielded arbitrarily and from the top. Those with protection go unmolested. Those who dare challenge Mr. Putin or question his policies — such as Ms. Politkovskaya — risk great personal harm.

In the last two decades, Russia has adopted new laws to replace the obsolete and crumbled foundations of the Soviet Union. But the missing element is enforcement. It has been painfully clear that judges in major cases have been instructed what to do and say, that prosecutions and laws can be readily deployed as political weapons and that corruption and coercion are thriving. This is Mr. Putin’s choice, a system as old as Russia itself, and hardly a path to a modern state and society.

Most of all, it is a tragedy for Russia’s people. After centuries of misrule, by czars and commissars, they deserve a chance at true democracy and rule of law. They deserve a country in which Ms. Politkovskaya’s killer will be found and brought to justice.

Anna Politkovskaya was best known for her reports in the Novaya Gazeta newspaper
Anna Politkovskaya was best known for her reports in the Novaya Gazeta newspaper
Anna Politkovskaya was best known for her reports in the Novaya Gazeta newspaper

MOSCOW (AFP) – A Russian court on Monday jailed two men for life for the 2006 murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya while handing down sentences of between 12 and 20 years to three others.

Rustam Makhmudov of Chechnya, convicted of firing the fatal shots at Politkovskaya, and his uncle Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, found guilty of organising the brazen hit, were jailed for life at Moscow city court, Russia s Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Makhmudov s two brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim were sentenced to 14 and 12 years respectively in a penal colony for their roles in the killing, while former Moscow police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov was handed a 20-year term.

Politkovskaya, a reporter at liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta who had been a fierce critic of the Kremlin s tactics in Chechnya, was gunned down at age 48 in the lobby of her Moscow apartment block on October 7, 2006.

An earlier trial in the murder involving several of the same defendants ended in an acquittal in 2009. The supreme court overturned that decision and then eventually halted a retrial by the same court following a demand by Polikovskaya s family to allow further investigation into the case.

Almost eight years on, Politkovskaya s family and colleagues, while welcoming the outcome of the new trial, have voiced disappointment that investigators have yet to identify the mastermind behind the apparent contract killing.

–  The investigation must continue  –

“I will not be satisfied until those who ordered this crime face the same verdict,” Politkovskaya s son Ilya said in televised comments after the sentencing.

Colleagues from Politkovskaya s newspaper echoed that call, saying that while the sentences were adequate none of “the main players” in the murder have been unmasked.

“It is impossible to say that you can now put a full stop on the investigation,” said Novaya Gazeta deputy editor Sergei Sokolov. “The investigation must continue.”

For its part the Investigative Committee pledged that they would press on with attempts to bring the mastermind of the shooting to justice.

“Comprehensive measures are now being taken to identify the person who ordered the murder,” spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement.

A spokesman for the state prosecutors hailed the sentences as “lawful, grounded and just”, the Interfax news agency said.

Lawyers for the men, who were convicted last month, have pledged to appeal the sentences, Interfax reported.

Politkovskaya made powerful enemies with her fearless reporting and exposure of atrocities carried out by pro-Kremlin armed groups in Chechnya.

Days after her death, President Vladimir Putin played down her importance, saying: “Her ability to influence political life in Russia was extremely insignificant.”

Prosecutors say that on the day of the murder Ibragim Makhmudov saw Politkovskaya driving home and tipped off his brother Dzhabrail, who then told Rustam, who entered the foyer of the apartment block in central Moscow.

“When the journalist entered the lift, Rustam Makhmudov fired several shots at her with a pistol. The weapon was left at the scene. After that the participants fled,” the Investigative Committee said.

Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov and Khadzhikurbanov had been acquitted in the earlier trial.

A former policeman, Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, was found guilty in 2012 of tracking Politkovskaya and providing the murder weapon. He was sentenced to 11 years in a prison camp after agreeing to cooperate with the investigation and face trial separately.

Gaza City, with a population of more than half a million people, spreads along the sandy shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Credit: Marjut Helminen/IPS
Gaza City, with a population of more than half a million people, spreads along the sandy shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Credit: Marjut Helminen/IPS
Gaza City, with a population of more than half a million people, spreads along the sandy shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Credit: Marjut Helminen/IPS

GAZA CITY, May 29 2014 (IPS) – “We let the men participate in the workshop discussions, but the training sessions are only for women journalists,” says Mona Khadir, who coordinates the activities of the Filastiniyat Women Journalists’ Club in Gaza. The meeting hall at a hotel in Gaza is full of journalists, both women and men. What catches the eye is the row of TV cameras and microphones behind the audience.

They are there for the workshop organised by Filastiniyat, a non-governmental advocacy organisation committed to ensuring and supporting the equitable participation of Palestinian women and youth at all levels of the public sphere.

Filastiniyat workshops offer a platform for vivid discussion and varied viewpoints, and such events never fail to draw media attention.

Raising a chorus of many voices – where everybody is welcome, irrespective of religion, political views or differing ways of thinking – is a rare opportunity in today’s Gaza.

The political division that has lasted since 2007 in Palestine between the two largest Palestinian political parties and long-standing rivals, the Fatah government in the West Bank and the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, has had a significant effect on the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression – and on women’s lives, whether journalists or citizens.

Filastiniyat’s activities offer an alternative view and much food for thought, considering that those in power in Gaza favour steps to segregate women and men in all spheres of life.

“We make the voice of women heard in the society,” says Wafa’ Abdel Rahaman, founder of Filastiniyat in Ramallah in the West Bank.

Several Palestinian men admitted to IPS that they respect the Filastiniyat as something unique and fresh. The club does something nobody else dares to do, they said. It offers an alternative to the conversation culture and a way of searching for common ground for action.

Although the activists of the volunteer organisation do not put it this way, it seems that the women journalists’ club aims at freeing journalism from narrow-minded party politics and taking it back to its roots, to informing the public in a spirit of free speech and right to information.

In the journalism field in Gaza, telling the truth can be life-threatening and the attack against free speech comes both from the Israeli occupation forces and from the domestic political leadership. Media outlets in the Gaza Strip have been prohibited from criticising the practices of the Hamas government, particularly regarding human rights violations.

But the voices of women journalists are being heard not only inside meeting rooms. Earlier this month, Filastiniyat invited journalists to discuss Palestinian reconciliation and ways to put an end to the split between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza. Al Jazeera TV broadcast this lengthy discussion live to the Arab world, and others, like Palestinian TV and several other media gave it extensive coverage.

“Our club is first of all about empowering women journalists and we do it in many ways, giving them an opportunity to raise their voice, increase professional skills, as well as offering relaxation and networking through social activities,” explains Khadir.

Some of the club’s activities might seem trivial at first glance, but a closer look reveals that they can mean a world to the women journalists struggling for professional survival in the male dominated and segregated society.

Psycho-social support, yoga and excursions offer relaxation and the possibility to forget for a moment the stress of everyday life – like the regular cuts in electricity or tap water, which is salty and poisoned with minerals, and the siege over Gaza, which imprisons the population in ghetto conditions.

Women journalists in Gaza are not only struggling with basic necessities for existence for themselves and their families, but also for employment.

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in 2012 among Palestinian journalism graduates aged 20-29 was 52 percent: 38 percent among male graduates and a striking 82 percent among female graduates.

UNESCO and Birzeit University’s Media Development Centre are about to release an in-depth Media Development Indicators Report, which analyses different factors of freedom of speech and media freedom in Palestine. According to this study, discrimination of women journalists is deeply rooted in media houses and union life, and the rights of all journalists are constantly violated both by the Israeli occupational authorities and the Palestinian authorities.

By Marjut Helminen (IPS)

The media under fire in Thailand

Bangkok, May 20, 2014–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns military censorship of the media, including the forced broadcasting of martial law orders and announcements, in Thailand.


Army Commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha invoked martial law today amid rising political tension and escalating violence between pro- and anti-government protest groups in the national capital. The country’s 1914 martial law act gives the army leader sweeping discretionary powers to limit civil liberties and curb press freedoms.

At least 10 cable and satellite TV stations were ordered to stop broadcasting until further notice under a public announcement by the newly created Peace-Keeping Command Center, according to news reports. The stations included ASTV, Asia Update, BlueSky, DNN, FourChannel, MFTV, MV5, P&P, Tnews, and UDD, the reports said.

The stations, some of which serve openly as mouthpieces for political protest groups, were shut down to prevent them from spreading “false information” and to “maintain law and order,” according to news reports citing the military announcement. Unlicensed radio stations were also ordered to stop broadcasting, reports said.

A separate martial law announcement requires all local radio and television stations to stop regular programming upon command and broadcast military announcements, according to news reports. The order affects all government and privately run broadcast media, the reports said. More than 100 troops seized control of the two facilities of the country’s sole satellite operator in Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi provinces to enforce the censorship order, the reports said.

The same order gives the military authority to ban the print media from publishing, distributing, or selling news or images that could adversely affect the PKCC’s operations. The statement said the discretionary powers were necessary to ensure the public receives only “correct and accurate information.” There were no immediate reports today of censorship of print or online media.

“Thailand’s military has wrongly equated censoring the media with restoring stability,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Army commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha should roll back immediately all martial law orders that aim to suppress and control the media, and refrain from censoring the press. Thailand needs more, not less, open debate about its political problems.”

The media has cmunder fire by both sides of Thailand’s conflict. On May 9, People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) anti-government protesters occupied several state-owned TV stations in an attempt to stop them from broadcasting news about the caretaker government and to instead air news about the protest group’s activities, according to news reports and a statement by local journalist groups. PDRC protesters have laid siege to and attempted to influence news coverage of the country’s six main local free-to-air TV stations on at least three separate occasions since the group began protesting in November 2013, according to CPJ research.

On May 14, local Channel 7 news reporter Tomchan Boonsai was assaulted by a group of pro-government United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) protesters after he filmed a group of them complaining to a broker that they had not received promised payments for participating in the rally, according to local reports. Protesters forcibly confiscated the video of the incident from his camera, the reports said.

Source:  CPJ