Saad Hariri, Saudi power play and the media

Saturday, 18 November 2017, 05:33:30 PM. Riyadh's Middle East power struggle and the role of the news media. Plus, the challenge of covering Manus Island.

On The Listening Post this week, Saudi Arabia's Middle East power play as seen across the region's media. Plus, the lock-down facing journalists trying to cover refugees on Manus Island.

Lebanon's PM and Saudi Arabia's power play

In just two weeks, the new Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman has upended both the domestic and the regional balance of power with a series of moves that have left observers struggling to keep up.

Regional media have reported the resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the arrest of dozens of princes and businessmen and the threat of regional conflict through the political positions that they bring to the mix.

International media have also shown their colours by selectively seeing what they want to see in the new prince.

Contributors:
Rania Masri, academic and writer
Habib Battah, editor, BeirutReport.com and journalism lecturer at the American University of Beirut
As'ad Abukhalil, professor, California State University, Stanislaus
David Hearst, editor, Middle East Eye

On our radar

  • Zimbabwe's army seizes the state broadcaster as it moves to take control of the country's succession.
  • Julian Assange trolls Trump Jr while defending WikiLeaks' journalism.
  • Venezuela's new media law raises heckles from press freedom activists.

Covering Manus Island

Last year, Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court ruled that Australia's imprisonment of asylum seekers on the islands of Manus and Nauru was illegal and ordered the closure of the camps.

Unfortunately, the story attracted little attention since Australia's offshore "processing centres" for asylum seekers have operated largely under a shroud of secrecy.

Journalists trying to report on conditions at the prisons have been blocked at every turn by the governments involved.

Eighteen months since that court ruling, the camps are now closed but the refugees are refusing to leave fearing attacks by local people.

The Listening Post's Johanna Hoes returns to the story of the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru.

Contributors:
Elaine Pearson, director, HRW Australia
Paul Farrell, senior reporter, Buzzfeed Australia
Matthew Abbott, documentary photographer
Amir Taghinia, former Manus refugee
Behrouz Boochani, refugee

Source: Al Jazeera

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