Media blackout refers to the censorship of news related to a certain topic, particularly in mass media, for any reason. A media blackout may be voluntary, or may in some countries be enforced by the government or state. The latter case is controversial in peacetime, as some regard it as a human rights violation and repression of free speech. Press blackout is a similar phrase, but refers specifically to printed media.
Media blackouts are used, in particular, in times of declared war, to keep useful intelligence from the enemy. In some cases formal censorship is used, in others the news media are usually keen to support their country voluntarily as in the UK D- (later DA-)Notice system in the Second World War.
Some examples of media blackout would include the media bans of southern Japan during the droppings of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the lack of independent media correspondence from Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.
During World War II, the US Office of Censorship sent messages to newspapers and radio stations, which were acted on by recipients, asking them not to report any sightings or explosions of fire balloons, so the Japanese would have no information on the balloons' effectiveness when planning future actions. As a result, the Japanese learned the fate of only one of their bombs, which landed in Wyoming, but failed to explode. The Japanese stopped all launches after less than six months. The press blackout in the U.S. was lifted after the first deaths from fire balloons, to ensure that the public was warned, though public knowledge of the threat could have possibly prevented the deaths. News of the loss of over 4,000 lives when UK ship RMS Lancastria was sunk during the war was voluntarily suppressed to prevent it affecting civilian morale, but was published after it became known overseas.
Some media critics have questioned whether the 2000 Wichita Massacre received little to no coverage in the mainstream media due to political correctness regarding the race of the perpetrators and the victims. Such critics also cite the 2007 Murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in Knoxville, Tennessee.
A media blackout was used during the 2005 New York City transit strike to allow for more effective contract negotiation between the two sides of the dispute. Most typically, the more freedom of the press that any particular country has, and the more sensational the story, the more likely it is that at least one news organization will ignore the "blackout" and run the story.
The 2008 abduction of Canadian journalist Mellissa Fung was given a media blackout to assure her safe return. All media sources obliged making the Canadian public unaware of the fate of Fung.
In 2008, the fact that Prince Harry, then third in line to the British throne, was serving on active duty in Afghanistan was subject to a blackout in the British media for his own safety. He was brought home early after the blackout was broken by foreign media.
On 22 June 2009, when news came that New York Times reporter David Rohde had escaped from his Taliban captors, few knew he had even been kidnapped, because for the seven months he and two Afghan colleagues were in the Taliban's hands, The Times kept that information under wraps. Out of concern for the reporter's safety, The Times asked other major news organizations to do the same; NPR was among dozens of news outlets that did not report on the kidnapping at the urging of Rohde's colleagues. Kelly McBride, who teaches ethics to journalists at the Poynter Institute, says she was "really astounded" by the media blackout. "I find it a little disturbing, because it makes me wonder what else 40 international news organizations have agreed not to tell the public," she tells NPR's Melissa Block. McBride says the blackout could hurt the credibility of news organizations. "I don't think we do ourselves any favors long term for our credibility when we have a total news blackout on something that's clearly of interest to the public," she says.
In 2009, on the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, a number of social media websites were made inaccessible and foreign television reception disrupted in China.
On 18 January 2012, Wikipedia participated in a voluntary media blackout to protest SOPA.
Some blackouts, or media dereliction, may arise due to social factors rather than mandates, such as the Kermit Gosnell abortion trial having been avoided by all media. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and 71 other Members of Congress condemned the blackout. It was also termed a blackout by Troy Newman, president of the Kansas-based pro-life Operation Rescue.
"Writing for The Washington Post, Melinda Henneberger responded that "we didn’t write more because the only abortion story most outlets ever cover in the news pages is every single threat or perceived threat to abortion rights. In fact, that is so fixed a view of what constitutes coverage of that issue that it’s genuinely hard, I think, for many journalists to see a story outside that paradigm as news. That’s not so much a conscious decision as a reflex, but the effect is one-sided coverage". Explaining why some of her colleagues did not report on the story, Henneberger wrote, "One colleague viewed Gosnell’s alleged atrocities as a local crime story, though I can’t think of another mass murder, with hundreds of victims, that we ever saw that way. Another said it was just too lurid, though that didn’t keep us from covering Jeffrey Dahmer, or that aspiring cannibal at the NYPD." Writing for Bloomberg View, Jeffrey Goldberg said that this story "upsets a particular narrative about the reality of certain types of abortion, and that reality isn’t something some pro-choice absolutists want to discuss"."
A still unidentified American man working as an English teacher in Japan 'went into cardiac arrest' after being restrained by six Tokyo police officers on February 11, 2015, and remained in a coma until he died on March 1 of that year. There was apparently no media coverage of the man's death by any major English language news organization, in stark contrast to news coverage of the Otto Warmbier incident or of the murder of Lindsay Hawker.
In late 2015 to mid 2016, the supporters and campaign of Democratic Party (United States) candidate Bernie Sanders accused Sanders was being subject to a mass media blackout, citing that Sanders had received only 20 seconds of media coverage by ABC Television Network's World News Tonight in contrast to 81 minutes of Donald Trump media coverage.
In 2016 many speculate that the UK government blacked-out the media relating to the Nuit debout due to the upcoming UK Referendum vote on the EU Membership.
On February 8, 2019 the International Committee of the Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies launched a campaign for a total ban on all nuclear weapons, but the announcement received little press coverage.
In association football, a press or media blackout is also referred to as a silenzio stampa (literally press silence) from the corresponding Italian phrase. It specifically refers to when a football club or national team and the players refuse to give interviews or in any other way cooperate with the press, often during important tournaments, or when the club feels that the media does not depict the club and their activities in an objective way. The phrase silenzio stampa was born during the 1982 FIFA World Cup, when the Italian team created a news blackout due to rumors and untrue stories circulating in the press.
Parliamentary elections were held in Ukraine on 31 March 2002. The Our Ukraine bloc emerged as the largest faction in the Verkhovna Rada, winning 111 of the 447 seats.The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe noted at the time that there were physical assaults and harassment of candidates and campaign workers associated with opposition political parties prior to the March election. The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc complained of campaign related violations including "an informal 'media blackout,' [and] negatively slanted coverage".2014 Fijian general election
General elections were held in Fiji on 17 September 2014, to select the 50 members of the Fijian parliament.The incumbent Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, was re-elected. Prior to the election Bainimarama was an Independent but stood for the FijiFirst Party in 2014. The Social Democratic Liberal Party and the National Federation Party both got over 5%, the threshold for a party or independent to have seats in the parliament.The elections were originally scheduled for March 2009, but were not held then because politicians did not agree to the People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress. Between 2009 and 2014 many public announcements and requests were made and on 23 March 2014 the interim government announced the election would be held on 17 September 2014.
The elections were to be held under the new constitution which lowered the voting age to 18 and gave the right of multiple citizenship to Fijians for the first time.2016 Ugandan general election
General elections were held in Uganda on 18 February 2016 to elect the President and Parliament. Polling day was declared a national holiday.Presidential candidates included incumbent Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, Kizza Besigye, who had run against Museveni in 2001, 2006 and 2011, former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Abed Bwanika who has also challenged Museveni in 2001, 2006 and 2011, former Makerere University Vice Chancellor Venansius Baryamureeba, retired Army General Benon Biraaro, Joseph Mabirizi and former presidential advisor Faith Kyalya. Claims of rigging and violence at polling stations were reported and voting was extended in several locations after reports of people not being allowed to cast their votes. According to the Electoral Commission, Museveni was re-elected with 61% of the vote to Besigye's 35%.
Opposition candidates claimed that the elections were marred by widespread fraud, voting irregularities, the repeated arrest of opposition politicians and a climate of voter intimidation. The European Union and United States have since criticised the election for lack of transparency and detentions of opposition candidates. Overseers from the Commonwealth of Nations were critical of the misuse of state powers in favour of the incumbent.Arba'een Pilgrimage
The Arba'een Pilgrimage is the world's largest annual public gathering that is held every year in Karbala, Iraq at the end of the 40-day mourning period following Ashura, the religious ritual for the commemoration of martyrdom of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad and the third Shia Imam, Husayn ibn Ali's in 680. Anticipating Arba'een, or the fortieth day of the martyrdom, the pilgrims make their journey to Karbala on foot, where Husayn and his companions were martyred and beheaded by the army of Yazid I in the Battle of Karbala.The number of participants in the annual pilgrimage reached 30 million or more by 2016. On the routes of the pilgrimage, food, accommodation and other services are provided for free by volunteers. Husayn is believed to transcend all cultural boundaries and be a symbol of universal freedom and compassion.Some of the pilgrims make their journey from cities as far as Basra, about 500 kilometres (310 mi) away by road. The ritual has been described as "an overwhelmingly powerful display of Shia belief and solidarity". Iran and Shias however have criticized mainstream media for ignoring the event.Bijbehara Massacre
The Bijbehara Massacre refers to an incident that took place between protesters and the 74th Battalion Border Security Force (BSF) in the Indian state Jammu & Kashmir on 22 October 1993. The BSF was accused of arbitrarily firing on a crowd and killing 51 civilians in Bijbehara after protests erupted over the siege of the mosque in Hazratbal. India's official version of events, that its army acted in self-defence when fired upon by militants, was rejected by Human Rights Watch citing the 1993 U.S. Department of State country report on human rights in India which said, "Despite government claims that the security forces were ambushed by militants, only one BSF sub inspector was injured." Confusion surrounds the incident as the Indian Army was accused of the firing while it was actually the 74th Battalion of the Border security Force that was involved.
The number of reported dead and wounded vary by source. Amnesty International reported that at least 51 people died and 200 were wounded on that day, which included incidents in Srinagar and Bijbehara. The UN Refugee Agency reported 35 dead and about 76 wounded, citing news reports in The Times. The Times of India reported 37 dead.The Indian government conducted two official enquiries and the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) conducted a third. In March 1994 the government indicted the Border Security Force (BSF) for firing into the crowd "without provocation" and charged 13 BSF officers with murder. A nonpublic General Security Force Court trial conducted in 1996 led to their acquittal.When the NHRC sought to examine the transcripts of the trials in order to satisfy itself that the BSF had made a genuine attempt to secure convictions, the Vajpayee government refused. The NHRC then moved the Supreme Court for a review. In September 2000, the NHRC dismissed the case.On 10 September 2007 the Jammu and Kashmir High Court ordered the state government to pay restitution to the victims' families.Blackout cake
Blackout cake, sometimes called Brooklyn Blackout cake, is a chocolate cake filled with chocolate pudding and topped with chocolate cake crumbs. It was invented during World War II by a Brooklyn bakery chain named Ebinger's, in recognition of the mandatory blackouts to protect the Brooklyn Navy Yard.After the war, the name persisted for a very dark chocolate cake and became common across the American Midwest. Ebinger's variety was very popular and became a signature offering, popular with Brooklyn residents, until the chain of more than fifty locations closed in 1972.Blendi Fevziu
Blendi Fevziu (born May 18, 1969, Tirana, Albania) is an Albanian journalist, writer and host of the TV talk show Opinion, which first went on air on August 31, 1997.
Fevziu graduated in literature and Albanian language at the University of Tirana in 1991. In 1989 he was part of the staff of the Student newspaper of the University. In December 1990 and February 1991 he was an active participant in the students' movement that brought the change of regime in Albania. On January 5, 1991 he was the co-founder of the "RD" (Democratic Renaissance) newspaper, the first free newspaper after almost 70 years of independent media blackout in Albania.Comedown Machine
Comedown Machine is the fifth studio album by American rock band the Strokes. It was released on March 26, 2013 by RCA Records. The band decided to pull a media blackout for the album, with no promotion in the form of television appearances, interviews, photoshoots, live shows, or tours. The cover artwork was designed to resemble an old RCA tape reel box.
Comedown Machine received mostly positive reviews from critics, and was placed at number 41 on the NME's list of the "50 Best Albums of 2013".Doomsday (Doctor Who)
"Doomsday" is the thirteenth and final episode in the second series of the revival of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on 8 July 2006 and is the conclusion of a two-part story; the first part, "Army of Ghosts", was broadcast on 1 July 2006. The two-part story features the Daleks, presumed extinct after the events of the 2005 series' finale, and the Cybermen, who appeared in a parallel universe in the 2006 episodes "Rise of the Cybermen" and "The Age of Steel". Both species unexpectedly arrive on Earth at the conclusion of "Army of Ghosts".
The concept of the Daleks and the Cybermen both appearing on-screen was first proposed in 1967, but was vetoed by Terry Nation, the creator of the Daleks. The episode is the first conflict between the two species in Doctor Who's 55-year history, and features Billie Piper's last appearance in the lead companion role as Rose Tyler; the final regular appearance of Noel Clarke as Rose's ex-boyfriend and previous companion Mickey Smith; and the final regular appearances of Camille Coduri and Shaun Dingwall as Rose's parents, Jackie and Pete Tyler. The episode and its predecessor were filmed between November 2005 and January 2006, alongside the episodes "Rise of the Cybermen" and "The Age of Steel".
Set mainly in the One Canada Square skyscraper in Canary Wharf, the episode's plot consists mostly of the Daleks and Cybermen waging a global war, with humanity on the verge of extinction in the cataclysm. The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), the Tyler family, and Mickey Smith fight for their lives trying to reverse the situation. They are successful, but at an emotional cost to the Doctor and Rose, as they are left in separate universes.
The episode is one of the most popular Doctor Who episodes since the show's revival. It was nominated, along with "Army of Ghosts", for the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form; the award was won by the fourth episode in the series, "The Girl in the Fireplace". It shared the revived series' highest Audience Appreciation rating of 89 with "The Parting of the Ways", "Silence in the Library", and "Forest of the Dead" until 28 June 2008—"The Stolen Earth" gained an AI rating of 91—and is favoured by most critics for both the Dalek-Cyberman conflict and the farewell scene between the Doctor and Rose.Escape from Woomera
Escape from Woomera is an unfinished point-and-click adventure video game, intended to criticise the treatment of mandatorily detained asylum seekers in Australia as well as the Australian government's attempt to impose a media blackout on the detention centres. In the game, the player assumes the role of Mustafa, an Iranian asylum seeker being held at Woomera Immigration Reception and Processing Centre. Mustafa's request for asylum has been denied, and, fearing that he will be killed by the Iranian government upon his repatriation to Iran, he decides to attempt to escape Woomera. Mustafa must explore Woomera and speak with other individuals at the centre to devise and execute an escape plan.
The game was developed in 2003 and 2004 by a team of Australian video game industry professionals and an investigative journalist, using Half-Life's GoldSrc engine. The developers received an AU $25,000 grant from the Australia Council to make the game, propelling the project to national attention, where the idea received a predominantly negative reception. The Australia Council's decision to fund the game drew condemnation from both Minister for Immigration Philip Ruddock and Australian Human Rights Commission leader Dr. Sev Ozdowski. Without further funding, a full game was never developed, and the playable prototype was made available free of charge online.Gus Monsanto
Gus Monsanto is the stage name of Gustavo Monsanto (born 5. November 1974 in Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil) is the former lead singer of the French progressive metal band Adagio, and former lead singer of Finnish band Revolution Renaissance formed by Timo Tolkki after he left Stratovarius. He is the brother of journalist Eduardo Monsanto of ESPN Brazil.
In 2009 he released an album as frontman of the band The Lightseekers.
Gus Monsanto is the new singer of German metal band Human Fortress and he is singing on the new album which was released November 9. called "Raided Land". Now Gus just released his first solo debut album called Karma Café but now he continues with several bands like Omega Blast, Stereo Scream, Grand Media Blackout, The Yell and many more.
Gus is still fronting the legendary power metal band Human Fortress and now the band is working on the new album that will be third release with Gus Monsanto on lead vocals.Kidnapping of David Rohde
David Stephenson Rohde, a journalist for The New York Times, and two associates were kidnapped by members of the Taliban in November 2008. Rohde was in Afghanistan doing research for a book. After being held captive for eight months, in June 2009, Rohde and one of his associates escaped and made their way to safety.
During his captivity, Rohde's colleagues at The New York Times appealed to other members of the news media not to publish any stories reporting on the abduction. Their intentions in doing so were to maximize Rohde's chances for survival and/or release.MintPress News
MintPress News is a Minnesota-based news website launched in 2012. It covers political, economic, foreign affairs and environmental issues.Operation Janbaz
The Pakistan Army General Headquarters attack (Codename: Operation Janbaz; Urdu: فوجی آپریشن جانباز), was a hostage-rescue mission carried by SSG Division during which, on 10 October 2009, when 10 gunmen in military uniform opened fire on the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan. The attack killed nine soldiers, nine militants and two civilians and was a major escalation in Pakistan's domestic insurgency. One militant was wounded and captured by security forces. Soon after the attack, the militant infiltrated the security buildings where 22 civilian and military officials were held hostage by the militants. The Pakistan Army immediately launched a hostage rescue operation led by the SSG Division, Army Special Forces and the 13th Regular Regiment.Radia tapes controversy
The Radia tapes controversy relates to the telephonic conversations between Nira Radia, a political lobbyist in India, the (then) Indian telecom minister A. Raja, and senior journalists, politicians, and corporate houses, taped by the Indian Income Tax Department in 2008–09. The tapes were leaked out to the press, and were eventually published by some media outlets and shown by television channels.The revelations in the tapes led to accusations of misconduct by many of these people. Nira Radia used to run a public relations firm named Vaishnavi Communications, whose clients include the Tata Teleservices and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries.Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner
On April 29, 2006, American comedian Stephen Colbert appeared as the featured entertainer at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, which was held in Washington, D.C., at the Hilton Washington hotel. Colbert's performance, consisting of a 16-minute podium speech and a 7-minute video presentation, was broadcast live across the United States on the cable television networks C-SPAN and MSNBC. Standing a few feet from U.S. President George W. Bush, in front of an audience of celebrities, politicians, and members of the White House Press Corps, Colbert delivered a controversial, searing routine targeting the president and the media. He spoke in the persona of the character he played on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, a parody of conservative pundits such as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity.Colbert's performance quickly became an Internet and media sensation. Commentators remarked on the humor of Colbert's performance, the political nature of his remarks, and speculated as to whether there was a cover-up by the media in the way the event was reported. James Poniewozik of Time noted that whether or not one liked the speech, it had become a "political-cultural touchstone issue of 2006—like whether you drive a hybrid or use the term 'freedom fries'".Still Counting the Dead
Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of Sri Lanka's Hidden War is a book written by the British journalist Frances Harrison, a former BBC correspondent in Sri Lanka and former Amnesty Head of news. The book deals with thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil civilians who were killed, caught in the crossfire during the war. This and the government's strict media blackout would leave the world unaware of their suffering in the final stages of the Sri Lankan Civil War. The books also highlights the failure of the United Nations, whose staff left before the final offensive started.The Stolen Earth
"The Stolen Earth" is the twelfth episode of the fourth series and the 750th overall episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 28 June 2008. The episode was written by show runner and head writer Russell T Davies and is the first of a two-part crossover story with spin-offs The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood; the concluding episode is "Journey's End", the finale of the fourth series, broadcast on 5 July.
The finale's narrative brings closure to several prominent story arcs created during Davies' tenure as show runner. In the episode, contemporary Earth and twenty-six other planets are stolen by the Daleks, aided by their megalomaniacal creator Davros and a shattered but precognitive Dalek Caan. As the Doctor (David Tennant) and his companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) try to find Earth, his previous companions Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), and Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) convene to contact him and mount a defence against the Daleks. In the episode's climax, the Doctor is shot by a Dalek and begins to regenerate.
The episode marks the first appearance of Davros since the 1988 serial Remembrance of the Daleks; he is portrayed by Julian Bleach. It is also the first Doctor Who appearance of Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles); Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd); Luke Smith (Thomas Knight); and Mr Smith (voiced by Alexander Armstrong), though Myles and Armstrong appeared in other episodes playing different roles. Adjoa Andoh and Penelope Wilton reprise supporting roles as Martha's mother Francine Jones and former Prime Minister Harriet Jones respectively. Paul O'Grady and Richard Dawkins make cameo appearances as themselves as television personalities who attempt to assuage public fear.
The two-part finale's epic scale and underlying plot was first conceived in early 2007 as the last regular-series story for departing producers Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner, and Phil Collinson: the fourth series finale is the last story produced by Collinson; and Steven Moffat and Piers Wenger replaced Davies and Gardner as show runner and executive producer respectively in 2010. Major concepts were already specified by July 2007 and the script was written in December 2007; Davies began on the 7th and finished on the 31st. Filming for the finale took place in February and March 2008, and post-production finished in mid-June 2008, only two weeks before the episode aired. To conceal as many plot elements as possible, "The Stolen Earth"'s title was not disclosed until sixteen days before broadcast, preview DVDs omitted the scene where the Doctor regenerates—the last scene is the Doctor being shot by a Dalek—and the episode aired without a preview trailer for "Journey's End".
The episode was reviewed positively by both the audience and professional reviewers. The Audience Appreciation Index score was 91: an unprecedented figure for Doctor Who and one of the highest ratings ever given to a television programme. On its original broadcast, it was viewed by 8.78 million viewers and was the second most-watched programme of the week; at the time of broadcast, it was the highest position Doctor Who had ever reached. Critical reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Nicholas Briggs and Julian Bleach were commended for their portrayal of Dalek Caan and Davros respectively; and most aspects of Davies' writing were applauded. Most notably, the twist ending of the episode was universally appreciated. The shock regeneration created an unprecedented level of public interest in the show, which continued until the transmission of "Journey's End".Tunisian Pirate Party
The Tunisian Pirate Party (Arabic: حزب القراصنة التونسي Hizb al-Qarāṣina at-Tūnsī ; French: Parti pirate tunisien) is a small political party in Tunisia. It was formed in 2010 and legalised on 12 March 2012, becoming one of the first outgrowths of the Pirate Party movement in both the Arab World & Africa.
The party achieved notoriety during the Tunisian revolution, as party members declared their intention to break a media blackout on the social unrest taking place across the country. Members distributed censorship circumvention software, and assisted in documenting human rights abuses during the riots in the cities of Sidi Bouzid, Siliana, and Thala.After the revolution, a Pirate Party member who had been detained during the unrest, Slim Amamou, was briefly selected as Secretary of State for Sport and Youth in the new government. He later resigned in protest of the transitional government's censorship of several websites at the request of the army.