Monday, July 17, 2006

The reason I haven't been blogging

My appologies for those who have been waiting for a report from the MRC conference that I promised. I have been a bit distracted the past few days. I am currently a refugee in Jerusalem after Haifa has been getting a lots of rocket fire courtsey of Hezzbolah in Lebanon. Some call it a war, some call it a conflict... I like to call it a very interesting ethnographic expereince (alway look on the bright side of life!). If you are interested in my reflections on this situation please check out my other blog "Long Way from Auld Reekie".

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bombings in Haifa...watching how news is constructed

Bombing in Haifa

Today has been an interesting time to reflect on how news in constructed.

At 8:40pm I awoke from a short nap and decided to make myself some dinner. Over my pita and hummus I decided to turn on the TV and when I flipped past CNN I was stunned to see an image of Stella Maris a neighborhood in Haifa about 20 mins down the hill from the University where I am staying. My first reaction was to go out to my balcony that overlooks the northern part of the city to see what was happening. But around me were no signs of this event. I saw no smoke rising from the cityscape; students were still milling around the campus courtyard and playing tennis on the university courts. If I had not turned on the TV I would not have known what was happening.

An hour later announcement came on the campus intercom for all students in the dorm are to go to their apartment safe rooms/bomb shelter. So slowly the students migrated inside but 2 hours later when the notice was made that all was okay the place came back to life. Overall it was just another peaceful night on campus in Haifa.

However it was interesting to not that in those 2 hours the peaceful atmosphere changed in my own space not because of what I was experiencing around me, but the tone set by the news. Haifa made the top headline on CNN with constant showing of images of the small area of town that was affected. Their was a series of interview with foreign correspondence, to local observers, and government official the described Haifa as “a place of panic” and “a war zone” to one where locals were experiencing with “a sense of hesitancy and fear”. As I listened to these CNN reports I grew more anxious, till I finally just turned off the TV. The media’s constant barrage of images and featuring Haifa as the crisis of the minute helped heightened the feeling of panic. I turned it off and called a few friends who lived in other parts of Haifa and learned they were all calm and more realistic about the situation.

Online I scanned the Israeli papers such as Haaretz online which:

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Media, Religion & Culture Conference start today

Greeting from Stigtuna Sweden. The Fifth International Conference on Media, Religion, and Culture starts today. I am looking forward to learnign new things and meeting new colleagues from aroudn the world. I have already had several great chats with people from Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Britian and am looking forward to more. I will keep you posted with conference highlights.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Kosher Cell Phones

One of my current project here in Israel is to research more information on the Kosher cell phne developed in 2005. Kosher cell phones are designed forthe Ultra Orthodox community have been stripped of video, web & sms access that might expose users to harmful content. They also bear a kosher symbol, indicatign the devices are approved for use byt the rabbican coincil of the community. If you are interested in finding out more check out these recent articles:
Kosher phone line to be launched
Partner to provide kosher cell phones
Israel's 'kosher' cell phone testing appetite for growth

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Conferences on Fundamentalism and Media

There are 2 interesting upcoming conferences focused around the theme of Fundamentalism and Media.

Fundamentalism and the Media is sponsored by the The Center for Media, Religion, and Culture at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA will be held 10-12 October 2006. It will center on research and discussion of how best to address religious misunderstanding and conflict in the media.

And the conference Global Communication of Fundamentalist Knowledge will be held 14-16 December 2006 at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. One of the conference themes focuses on Media and fundamentalist knowledge and how people use different forms of media to serve various religious, naitional and ethinic interest.