Exile media

Media coverage of new Syrian protests

In Syria people have taken to the streets again. But if you only have access to state-controlled Syrian media you would hardly know. As a Syrian journalist I want to recommend good quality journalism – all produced by Syrian media outlets NOT controlled by the Syrian regime that will ensure a good understanding of recent events on the ground. The fact that I and other exiled Syrians can access good journalism, verified and of high professional standards, is not to be taken for granted.

IMS have worked with Syrian media partners for well over a decade. Some of which started out as mere flyers – printed underground and distributed covertly on doorsteps. They were labelled as “media activists” or  “revolutionary media,”  and established themselves at the beginning of the 2011 uprising in Syria. Those media outlets served as conduits of news in areas that were cut off, supported peaceful movements, covered military developments and their consequences, regime violations, detainee issues, and influenced public opinion.

12 years later, as the identities of independent Syrian media platforms have become clearer – their orientations, visions, goals, audiences, and their roles have crystallized further. They now possess the capacity to create a secure democratic environment for dialogue and platforms that address all Syrians. This diversity and authenticity are evident in the coverage of IMS’ Syrian partners to The Movement of August 10 today, which began in the city of Suwayda.

The Movement of August 10

What is happening now on streets in select Syrian cities draw inspiration from the slogans of the 2011 uprising and takes its point of departure in the Syrian people’s demands for a political solution and the overthrow of the regime.

Video recordings showing individuals holding protest placards in cities controlled by the Syrian regime were released on Thursday, August 10th and have given name to the current movement. The images depict youth carrying placards that read “Syrian youth of all sects say no to humiliation” in the cities of Latakia and Jablah on the Syrian coast. Meanwhile, another recording from the city of Suwayda in southern Syria showed two young men throwing placards from a motorcycle. Those recordings followed the movement’s announcement, issued on a Facebook page, in which it declared its intention to carry out a “peaceful movement” in several Syrian cities.

This information is sourced from coverage published on the Mars platform for trainees by media outlet Enab Baladi, titled: The Movement of August 10: A Second Statement and Recordings of Publications in Regime-Controlled Cities (Arabic language content)

On the program “Sada Al-Sharee’ The Echo of the Street,” Rozana FM provided analysis of the event, interviews, and opinion surveys under the title:The Movement of August 10 in Syria… What are the opinions about it? (Arabic language content)

Although most of IMS’ Syrian partners’ editorial rooms are located outside of Syria proper, they maintain networks of correspondents and journalists who photograph and report from inside Syria.

That is why you can find videos from the August 10-protests on IMS’ partners’ social media platforms. I recommend Al-Jumhurriya’s What’s new so far in the current Syrian popular movement.

IMS partner Enab Baladi provides continuous news coverage, short reports, political analyses and commentary in English. I recommend that you read:

Rozana FM engaged with the audience, gauging the pulse of the street. They also published political news, economic repercussions, and women’s participation in the Suwayda protests under the title: We are all one and our demand is one… Women’s participation in the Suwayda protests.

Al-Jumhurriya published a political opinion article discussing the theoretical possibilities of achieving the desired change in Syria, titled 2011 [uprising] in the Current Syrian Protests.”

I want to end my recommendations with a quote from this text:

The spirit of 2011 and its slogans are clearly present in the current wave of protests. However, what should not persist is the failure of some of its methods, rhetoric, and gambles. What should also not persist is the ongoing division of Syrians based on their stance towards it. Today, we need to take steps towards achieving change in our country, and afterward, we will have plenty of time to defend our narrative and symbols. We can tell our story within Syria itself, to Syrians who may not know it and to others who deny it without being able to silence us with their weapons and security apparatus.