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The video item below is a piece of English language content from Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is a Qatari state-funded broadcaster based in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network.
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On The Listening Post this week: What happens to Trump’s disinformation when it comes up against the science of COVID-19? And, the media outlets that have chronicled Lebanon’s uprisings.
Deadly Disinformation: COVID-19 in Trump’s America
With the coronavirus grinding life to a halt around the world, people are searching for reliable information. But what if two primary sources of news – the government and the most-watched TV channel – are setting aside medical science in favour of politically-driven fiction?
That is what Americans are dealing with. For three years, President Trump has had fact checkers working overtime. But the stream of disinformation on COVID-19 flowing from the White House has not only misled the public on the severity of the threat, it has put lives at risk.
Then there is Fox News. Its initial attempt to frame the pandemic as a “hoax” designed to take down the president has also been exposed. As infection rates climb and the death toll mounts – Trump finds himself confronted with some facts – scientific ones – that not even he can deny.
Charles Seife – Professor of Health Journalism, NYU
Kayla Gogarty – Senior Researcher, Media Matters for America
Caleb Ecarma – Writer, Vanity Fair
Joanne Kenen – Executive Health Editor, Politico
On our radar:
Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Meenakshi Ravi about China’s removal of yet more American journalists as the media war between Washington and Beijing heats up.
Megaphone: Amplifying voices from Lebanon’s uprising
Like many countries around the globe, Lebanon has declared a coronavirus state of emergency. But the country is already five months into a series of anti-government demonstrations – the biggest since Lebanon won its independence in 1943. The protest movement bridges classes and sects – citizens revolting against a political system that is defined by sectarian identity and has failed to provide them with the economic basics.
It is an ongoing story that has also revealed much about the failure of Lebanon’s media outlets – too many of which are skewing their coverage – since they are split along the same lines that politicians are.
The Listening Post’s Tariq Nafi looks at one news site that is out to change the media mix – and mess with the mainstream narratives. Megaphone is an online platform that produces punchy social videos and boundary-pushing opinion pieces – critical takes on the news – and the way it has been covered.
Jean Kassir – Managing Editor, Megaphone
Jamal Saleh – Creative Director, Megaphone
Kareem Chehayeb – Co-founder, The Public Source
Jad Abou Jaoudeh – Head of News, OTV
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Beijing, China’s sprawling capital, has history stretching back 3 millennia. Yet it’s known as much for modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
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Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.
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The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
- a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
- shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)
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Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.
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Donald John Trump was the 45th President of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality. Trump was born and raised in Queens, a borough of New York City, and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School.
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In This Story: Lebanon
The official language, Arabic, is the most common language spoken by the citizens of Lebanon. Its capital is Beirut.
Lebanon was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945 and is a member of the Arab League (1945), the Non-Aligned Movement (1961), Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (1969), and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (1973).