Indonesia can teach Egypt about post-revolution generals and politics (The Seattle Times)

JAKARTA (March 24, 2012) — “We warned them about trusting the military.” The topic of the conversation was Egypt, but the speaker was no anti-Supreme Council of the Armed Forces activist or Western human-rights worker. She was a top adviser to the vice president of Indonesia, a country that knows a thing or two about […]

Ira Glass’s Casablanca Moment with Mike Daisey (CJR.org)

(March 20, 2012) Over the weekend, as just about anyone with electricity knows by now, the public radio program This American Life fell on its sword over its bad Apple episode. The gesture was a noble one. As CJR’s Ryan Chittum put it: With the stunning news that This American Life is retracting its episode […]

Report on Media and Policy in the Muslim World Retreat

(Feb. 10, 2012) Journalists across the Muslim world are in need of political and practical support in the face of a backlash from governments struggling to undermine the media revolution sweeping the Middle East, Southeast and South Asia, according to a new report released by The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State […]

Journalism Education in the Pakistani Borderlands (Chronicle of Higher Ed)

(Islamabad, January 22, 2012) Students brave roadside bombs and Taliban threats while on class assignments. Professors are kidnapped and killed. Campus radio stations get regular visits from military intelligence. Welcome to journalism education in Pakistan’s tribal areas. “Nine-eleven was a boon to us,” says a lecturer at one of the universities there, a few dozen […]

Pakistan and the GOP Presidential Primary (The Seattle Times)

ISLAMABAD (November 23, 2011) — Mitt Romney said it’s close to being a failed state. Rick Perry argued that it’s not our friend and shouldn’t get American aid. I happened to be in Pakistan as the Republican presidential hopefuls debated relations with this troubled ally. The sound-bite culture of American politics tends to reduce the world […]

POWs, Dead Dictators, and Journalistic Ethics (CJR.org)

(Oct. 27, 2011) The young Iranian prisoner was no more than fourteen, still caked with a thick layer of dust from the battlefield. He was among thousands of old men and young boys being held in an Iraqi POW camp somewhere outside Basrah. It was September 1980, the early weeks of the Iran-Iraq War, and […]

Lawrence Pintak on the Arab Media Revolution: A CJR Podcast

“Autocratic Arab governments have long controlled news and information with an iron hand, writes Lawrence Pintak in the cover story of CJR’s May/June issue. “No more. They try to do so in 2011, but competing versions of reality seep in—and out—through every electronic pore.” In this podcast, Pintak expands on his cover story, “Breathing Room: […]

English Lesson: The Moment Has Arrived for Al Jazeera English, Except in the US

[This is a sidebar article to the May/June 2011 cover story, “Breathing Room: Toward a new Arab media,” which you can read here.] Back in November 2008, I skewered Al Jazeera English’s live coverage of election night in the US in an article for CJR.org. “It was a bit like watching a local college TV station try […]

Breathing Room: Toward a New Arab Media (Columbia Journalism Review Cover Story)

(May/June 2011) Before there was Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or even Al Jazeera, there was Hama, Syria. It was 1982 and an anti-government protest was put down with ferocious violence. The Syrian government simply destroyed whole sections of the city, leaving at least ten thousand people dead. But the slaughter went unreported in that closed society. […]

The Mission of Indonesian Journalism: Balancing Democracy, Development, and Islamic Values (Int’l Journal of Press/Politics)

Vol. 16 No. 2 April 2011 — Indonesia, the world’s third largest democracy, has been called a template for Muslim political reform and has the potential to serve as a bridge between the United States and the Islamic world. Indonesian journalists play a vital role. Since the  collapse of the Suharto regime in the late […]