Hard News by Russell Brown


"Orderly transition" in #Egypt

It's been a remarkable feeling returning from whatever business we have to do in our lives -- yesterday, I went to a lovely concert in Aotea Square -- to reconnect, via the screen, with the history-making events in Egypt. To say it sets things in context seems to be to understate the case.

There is so much to watch and wonder at (was Mohamed ElBaradei's pivotal role widely forecast?), and not a little to worry about.

Al Jazeera -- on an historic roll from events in Tunisia, through its own extraordinary leak of the so-called Palestine Papers, to a phenomenon in Egypt that will shape the Middle East -- has continually demonstrated its measure and professionalism.

Malcolm Gladwell's sniffy dismissal of social media's agency in genuine political change looks a bit silly now that the reform protesters have used Facebook to organise -- and now that Al Jazeera has reached out to citizen journalists to fill the gap created by the forcible closure of its Cairo office. (As the joke on Twitter goes, he'd have commented but his fax machine was in the shop.)

Feel free to comment and post links.


Media7 is back for 2011, with a new theme (thanks, Disasteradio!), set and title graphics and some new ideas.

This week's show will feature Steven Price and Brian Edwards on celebrities and suppression orders in light of the New Zealand Herald's "top secret" flap around Martin Devlin.

Steven will stay with us for part two, and be joined by Lahni Sowter of Tautoko FM and Derek Fox to discuss the suppressed story that was contemporaneous with the Devlin silliness -- but, to all appearances, deemed less important by the news media -- the decision that means the "Urewera 18" will be tried before a judge only, rather than a jury of their peers.

How will the trial play out in the press? What impact might the extensive reporting already carried out have on it? How will Maori media cover it? And will a non-jury trial enjoy public credibility?

If you'd like to join us for tomorrow evening's recording, we'll need you to come to the Victoria Street entrance of TVNZ from 5pm. As usual try and drop me a line to say you're coming.

Righto. Lots of work to do …

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