Matthias Oegendahl/EPA

Police in Denmark have now shot dead the suspect behind two attacks on Saturday, including an attack on a cafe where a public seminar on Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression was being held.   Thirty shots were fired into the cafe, during the event featuring Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks.   The New York Times reports he had “drawn a cartoon in 2007 of Muhammad as a dog at a traffic circle and was on a “death list” drawn up by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as was the murdered editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stéphane Charbonnier.”   A 55-year old film director, Finn Norgaard, was shot dead at the cafe, and later on a 37-year old man guarding Copenhagen’s central synagogue were killed in the two attacks.

Closer to home, the US media is being accused of bias in the reporting of the shooting deaths of 3 students in Chapel Hill.

“Dr. Mohammad Yousif Abu-Salha, the father of the two slain women, also questioned the attention his daughter’s killing had received in comparison with crimes committed by Muslims.  “If a Muslim commits a crime, it’s on the news 24/7 for two months,” Dr. Abu-Salha, a psychiatrist in Clayton, N.C., told The Associated Press. “When we are executed in numbers, it’s on the news for seconds.”

A #muslimlivesmatter campaign was started, but does not seem to be trending any more.

“Natasha Tynes, a Jordanian-American media consultant, wrote on Facebook, “I guess there is no ‘Je Suis’ hashtag for the three Muslims gunned down in Chapel Hill.”


Al Dragho/AP

One of the women killed, Yusor Abu-Salha, had previously done a Storycorps interview, where she spoke of the “blessing” that growing up in the US had been. “We’re all one, one culture,” she said.

READING: Dexter Filkins “The Forever War” ps87-167Articles by Kathleen McLaughlin

For Tuesday: Come prepared with at least two questions for Kathleen McLaughlin, including one specifically focussing on one of her stories.

For Thursday Feb 26th:  How developed is citizen journalism in your country?   Write a 500 word blog profiling one prominent citizen journalist (extra credit if you manage to interview them!)  Make sure to also provide the context for your country, such as how many citizen journalists there are, what challenges they face and which social media tools are the most popular.   If there are no citizen journalists, write a piece analyzing the obstacles to the emergence of citizen journalism – or, if you have touched upon that before – whether there are prominent citizen journalists in exile. (Thurs Feb 26th, 9am)

One out, two to go


After 400 days in an Egyptian prison, Australian journalist Peter Greste has finally been released.   He’s flown to Cyprus, and Al-Jazeera acting director-general Mostefa Soueg said, “Peter’s integrity is not just intact, but has been further enhanced by the fortitude and sacrifice he has shown for his profession of informing the public. ”  But the campaign will continue until the two other journalists imprisoned with him, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, are also released.

This past week also saw more bad news for journalists as ISIS executed two Japanese hostages, including journalist Kenji Goto.   A social media campaign had started #iamkenji or #jesuiskenji, but does not seem to have had much traction.  Here’s a tribute to him.







AFP/Martin Bureau

AFP/Martin Bureau

The new Charlie Hebdo has been printed with the Prophet Mohammed on the cover.  The cartoonist who drew the picture, Renald Luzier, explained it at a press conference where he repeatedly broke down.  “It was not the front page the world wanted us to make, but it was the one that we wanted to make,” he said. “It was not the front page the terrorists wanted us to make, because there are no terrorists in it, there is just a man crying, a guy crying – it’s Mohammad.”

In the US, the Washington Post printed the picture, so for the first time depicted the Prophet Mohammed, while for its part the New York Times did not take this step, but instead warned about the possibility of reprisals.

In Hong Kong, a pro-democracy tycoon who runs the Apple Daily newspaper, Jimmy Lai, had a petrol bomb thrown at his house, sparking a #jesuisjimmy hashtag, while a German correspondent in China wrote this sobering account of the arrest of her Chinese assistant.   Before Thursday’s class, please read the first 82 pages of the People’s Republic of Amnesia, and make sure that you have filed your first blogpost by 8am.




After a weekend of extraordinary rallies attended by 3.7m people in France, here’s the cover of the new Charlie Hebdo magazine.  The latest reports say that three million copies will be printed.



Charlie Hebdo’s lawyer, Richard Malka, said it will carry cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, “We will not give in otherwise all this won’t have meant anything,” he told France Info radio on Monday, which broadcast from the magazine’s heavily guarded temporary offices at Libération newspaper.

“Humour without self-deprecation isn’t humour. We mock ourselves, politicians, religions, it’s a state of mind you need to have…..The Charlie state of mind is the right to blaspheme.”   Meanwhile, as the Obama administration regrets not showing up at the march, questions are being asked about exactly who was ‘supporting’ press freedom.  Question is: was it really a solidarity march for them or a photo-op?


And to finish, a quick reminder that tomorrow’s class will be a WordPress session in the Mac lab on the 2f of the Modern Languages Building.   Come armed with your own wordpress site.