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New Media for Civic Engagement (U.S - Islamic World Forum)
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New Media for Civic Engagement (U.S - Islamic World Forum)


Presented at the U.S - Islamic World Forum in Doha 2010 ( …

Presented at the U.S - Islamic World Forum in Doha 2010 (
A case study of how New Media was used during the Gaza War and the Iranian Election unrest.

*refer to slide notes for details of each slide

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  • Most relevant and effective use of Twitter War time reporting
  • trending topic throughout the conflict there was a gap conversations are happening no one is quoting facts / propoganda no dedicated authentic news source present
  • Lots of discussion online from both sides Two main sites: helpuswin and gaza talk High noise ratio
  • Public diplomacy 2.0
  • There was a media blackout When there is blackout the online conversations fill the gap
  • AJ Had reporters on the ground – so we were able to get information out Filter through the news and provide actual facts key assets are reporters on the ground
  • not how fast you can open a twitter account
  • Launched a platform to get views from citizens on the ground Was ok for first two days After communication systems were taken out, the voices on the ground went silent.
  • Micro-reported the war using twitter. Updates from our correspondents and teams across the conflict area.
  • Enter Ushahidi crowd sourcing crisis information - kenyan political unrest riots, south african violence against the foreigners the mashup 2nd Jan 2009 - Day 7
  • Launched creative commons repository of broadcast quality footage
  • Italian NGO organising medical aid, Amenesty Sometone making video game Disinvestment Israel Multimedia Editor of Radio Television Hong Kong Carte Blanche, Rai TV
  • Media were not allowed to cover the protests. Very few credible eyes on the ground. As such international community relied on social media to get information out.
  • Need to first understand who are the people that are tweeting. Background, demographics, areas etc. Limited to educated people in urban areas – majority are pro reformis/secularist Ahmedinajad supporters have a very small voice online comparitvely Not hearing from both sides – there is no discussion. More of a broadcast medium for people with a story to tell.
  • Looking ahead – key drivers for social media usage for civic engagement.


  • 1. Riyaad Minty ( Head of Social Media, Al Jazeera @riy on twitter gtalk: [email_address]
  • 2. Operation Cast Lead Case Study
  • 3. # gaza
  • 4. The war of words Help Us Win Gaza Talk Propaganda 2.0
  • 5. The Israel Defense Forces, recognizing that success in neutralizing the Hamas movement in Gaza is as much a public relations challenge as a military one, has enlisted an arsenal of Internet tools to take their message directly to a global audience. – Noam Cohen, New York Times The battle for Public Opinion
  • 6. Redefining Public Diplomacy "Since the definition of war has changed, the definition of public diplomacy has to change as well” - David Saranga, Israeli consulate in New York
  • 7. Media Black Out
  • 8. /aymanm
  • 9. /sherinet
  • 10. Views from the ground …
  • 11. “ Micro Reporting ”
  • 12. Let the news follow you...
  • 13. Crisis Mapping
  • 14. Creative Commons
  • 15. What did people do with our footage?
    • Wikipedia
    • Film Makers
    • Music Videos
    • Artists
    • Video Games
    • Teaching
    • Activists
    • Indy Media
    • Public Service Announcements
    • Billboards
    • School Projects
    • Leads
  • 16. What happens when there is no media ...?
  • 17. # iranelection
  • 18. # iranelection
    • Two Issues:
    • Were the elections rigged?
    • The government clamp down on protestors
  • 19.  
  • 20.
    • WIN : The immediacy of new technologies allows people on the ground the opportunity to get their voices out. We were able to see the effects of the government clamp down as and when it happened.
    • FAIL : As the majority of the voices online reflect a minority of the population – it is difficult for new media tools to provide an accurate view of sentiment of a country. To say that the majority of Iranians supported the protests can not be based on social media.
    # iranelection
  • 21. Civic Engagement: Importance of placing information in Context
    • Voices are reflective of Society
    • Language
    • Technology Availability
    • Literacy
    • Access to platforms
    • Credible independent reporting to put information into context
  • 22. Questions? Riyaad Minty ( Head of Social Media, Al Jazeera @riy on twitter gtalk: [email_address]