Independent media finds new means of survival in Syria, staff shakeups at VICE News and more in this week's Digital Media Mash Up, produced by the Center for International Media Assistance.
Syrian independent media evolves as civil war continues
The media environment in Syria is nothing short of complicated given the civil war that has been raging since March 2011. Reporters Without Borders deems Syria the deadliest country in the world for journalists, and the Committee to Protect Journalists has confirmed 94 journalist deaths since the beginning of the conflict.
The Assad regime, infamous for its information control tactics, is continuing to thwart media critical of the government by detaining journalists, all while maintaining its propaganda mouthpiece. The Islamic State, well known for its own propaganda production and advanced use of online media recruitment around the world, targets and executes journalists. While media allied with opposition forces report more objectively than the regime, they too are heavily politicized, which leads them to bias and an inability to be self-critical. But in the midst of war and information polarization exist independent media groups, led by passionate individuals driven by something beyond their own lives—a free Syria. (CIMA, 6/2)
Digital media layoffs continue, this time at VICE News
This afternoon brought additional fodder for predictions of a tremulous bubble in digital media: VICE News, the edgy outlet that's expanded to become a global presence, announced it's axing 15 jobs in New York and Los Angeles.
Harriet Salem, a foreign correspondent at VICE News, indicated that the layoffs don't stop at the U.S. border, tweeting that all of the outlet's editorial team in the UK has been cut:
— Harriet Salem (@HarrietSalem) May 24, 2016
Citizen Lab researchers uncover extensive Twitter cyber espionage campaign
A new report from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab reveals a sophisticated international cyber-espionage campaign targeting journalists and activists whose work concerns the United Arab Emirates. The campaign used elaborate ruses, including fake organizations and journalists, to engage targets online, then entice them to open malicious files and links containing malware capable of monitoring their activities. (University of Toronto, 5/30)
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Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via David Holt.