AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – Has India elected a dangerous man? The media failed to answer this question. As Narendra Modi becomes leader of the world’s biggest democracy, his role in the killing of a thousand Muslims in 2002 remains murky. The 2002 Gujarat riots, a pogrom against Muslims, happened on Modi’s watch. His…Full Article INDIA: Is Modi a Murderer?
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – For years, news anchor and journalist Hamid Mir has been fighting for the cause of a free press in Pakistan. Now he’s fighting for his own life. Still recovering from an unsolved assassination attempt April 19, Mir, undaunted, issued a statement accusing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)…Full Article PAKISTAN: Are Government Spies Behind Media Assault?
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The Pakistani wing of the Taliban wants to do the seemingly impossible: Win public sympathy through improved PR. Surprisingly, it’s working. Since the election of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last year, the Taliban has retooled its communications ops to project the image of an embattled and…Full Article PAKISTAN: Taliban’s PR Blitz Divides and Conquers
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The world’s largest democracy may finally be set to host the world’s most expensive elections. In the months leading to India’s April-May congressional election, the competing Congress and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, or the People’s Party) will spend upwards of $5 billion on TV, print, radio, and…Full Article INDIA: Elections Could be the Costliest Ever
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES: When you want to know the economics of a country, you usually look at its gross domestic product — the amount of wealth it produced over the course of a year. But GDP tells only part of the story; it leaves out how the wealth is distributed.…Full Article POVERTY PROJECT: Measuring Inequality, How Asia Stacks Up
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES: In September 2011, a group of young activists occupied Zuccotti Park in Manhattan. The movement, dubbed Occupy Wall Street, became a rallying point for progressives around the world. Subsequent police crackdowns generally failed to disperse the activists, and their tenacity inspired people from all walks of life…Full Article POVERTY PROJECT: Introducing the Asia Media Poverty Project
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – A misleading story about Beijing’s virtual sunrise earned more press than Friday’s report naming New Delhi the world’s most polluted big city. The Daily Mail’s inaccurate story claimed that China’s government digitally simulates the sunrise on television screens throughout Beijing since its pollution blocks natural sunlight. Major…Full Article INDIA: Bogus Beijing Story Fogs Attention of Delhi’s Real Pollution Problem
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The deaths of three reporters at the hands of Taliban gunmen Jan. 17 is the latest in a series of terrorist attacks designed to silence anti-Taliban reporting in the afflicted country. On Friday, a group of gunmen on motorcycles shot into the van of three Express Tribune…Full Article PAKISTAN: Death of Tribune Staffers Underscores Dangers of Reporting
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – Though they’ve reported on floods, bombings, wars, and protests in some of the most dangerous places in the world, female journalists in Pakistan and India are still threatened and mistreated at home. Despite repeated calls for change from groups ranging from the United Nations to the Women’s…Full Article INDIA & PAKISTAN: Female Journalists Face Dangers in the Field and Workplace
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – Pakistani student and education activist Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography has been well received everywhere, it seems, but in her own country. On November 11, The Guardian reported that nationwide, Pakistani private schools had banned her book, I Am Malala, from being studied or read. Education officials point…Full Article PAKISTAN: Malala’s Book Banned in Schools
Want to be happy with your life? Then according to Indian media, make sure to have fair skin. A legacy from India’s caste system, fair skin is still considered essential for success in business and love, and Indian media still spreads this message. Controversial products such as whitening creams are…Full Article INDIA: The Media’s Whitewashing of Beauty
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – With explosions and non-stop action, Pakistan’s first action blockbuster, Waar, is making waves. Indians are less excited: they are the bad guys. Reuters offered a summary of the movie: “Indian villains team up with Islamist militants to plot spectacular attacks across Pakistan. Pakistani security forces jump in…Full Article PAKISTAN: Action Movie Paints India as the Bad Guy
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – Media darling or not, the Western press has largely ignored Malala Yousafzai’s stance against U.S. drone strikes — and capitalism. Malala has been praised for her efforts to raise awareness of the importance of education in Pakistan, particularly for girls, but her voice against drone strikes…Full Article PAKISTAN: American Media Silent On Malala’s Stance Against Capitalism
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The front page of Pakistan’s only LGBT support website, Queer Pakistan, reads “Don’t Hate Us, Know Us!” The Pakistani government said no. In another attempt to impede social progress in Pakistan, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (the PTA) censored the website, saying “Surf Safely! This website is…Full Article PAKISTAN: First Gay Pakistani Site Blocked
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – If you live in India, expect a “friend request” from your local representative. The upcoming 2014 election will see an explosion of social media campaigning, according to The Times of India. India’s Bharatiya Janata and Congress parties are scrambling to woo internet users. From local politicians getting in touch directly…Full Article INDIA: Elections Go Online, But Will It Matter?
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The hanging of four men convicted of rape and murder will do little to stem misogyny in India. The solution lies with the media and how it represents women. From 1990 to 2008, the number of reported rapes in India more than doubled, according to official…Full Article INDIA: Sexy Commercials Keep Women Vulnerable