Podiumsdiskussion am 20. Juni 2017 in Bonn ICS

Bürgerjournalismus in Syrien

Citizen journalists have played a major part in filling the gap left by the absence of professional journalists in syria. Data shows that that there has been a recent rise of new media outlets in the rebel-held areas, many of which are supported by the Syrian community in exile.

am Dienstag, 20. Juni 2017
um 12.00 Uhr
Global Media Forum
in Bonn,
Deutsche Welle Bonn

As the Syrian civil war moves into its sixth year, Syria remains among the world’s most dangerous and deadliest places for journalists. In 2016 alone, 19 journalists were killed in Syria. In addition to that, dozens were injured, abducted or imprisoned by either President Bashar Al-Assad’s government or the so-called Islamic State (IS). Though Syria did not have previously have a free press, as the war raged on, independent media has been brutally suppressed in areas controlled by both the Assad regime and IS.

Citizen journalism cannot be equated with traditional journalism. Yet, should citizen journalists be taken seriously and the information they provide be trusted? Citizen journalists may also be political activists and acknowledge that they are anti-Assad and anti-IS while turning a blind eye to the rebels’ actions. This lack of “neutrality” has led to criticism and skepticism towards the citizen journalists’ work. That begs several question: should citizen journalists by expected to undertake the tasks of neutral observers? Or is their job rather to balance the propaganda of the warring parties and focus on what is happening in their own areas? Is there a difference between independent citizen journalists and more traditional activists? How can citizen journalists work while constantly risking their lives? What inspires them to carry on? Is accurate (even if it is subjective) reporting in a war zone possible? These and many more questions will be discussed during this session with experts on this topic as well as practitioners.


Amjad Tadros, Co-Founder, Syria Direct, Jordan Managing the CBS News coverage and operations in the Middle East
Christoph Dreyer, Reporters Without Borders Germany
Dr. Carsten Wieland, Senior Expert for Intra-Syrian Talks, United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Syria
Ghayath Abd Alaziz, Freelance journalist, Syria (via Skype)

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