By Evaldas Labanauskas,
Edited by Tamara Kraus
“Attacks on the Press: Journalism on the World’s Front Lines” devoted one of the sections to the conflict in Syria and tragic conditions for the press and journalism in the area. The section “Syrian Journalist Strive to Repost, Despite Shifting Dangers,” written by Maria Salazas-Ferro, is talking about events and the situation of media in 2011-2013. Sadly, the situation in Syria now is much worse than it was when the book was published.
According to the article, since the uprising in March 2011, at least 51 journalists have been killed in retaliation for their work in Syria, and at least 30 others were missing, as of November 2013. The fresh data shows that a minimum of 80 journalists lost their lives in the conflict and 2014 was most cruel for media in Syria.
In the end of 2014 “The Guardian” made a video report about how dangerous it is for journalists, particularly for freelancers, to cover conflict in Syria. The rights and security of freelancers is one of most discussed topic in the Western media.
But the book concentrates on local journalists and citizen journalism, meaning anyone can be a source of news. A lot of Syrian journalists supported revolution in 2011 and began to work for anti-government, free media outlets, but revolution stuck in bloodbath and Syria became a failed state. There are government, anti Assad, ISIS and other political or ethical forces, who are fighting between each other in Syria.
Every fighting side endangers the work of journalists and the level of danger is the same or sometimes even more dangerous for locals than for foreign freelancers. According to new data from the Committee to Protect Journalists, 85 % of journalists, who were killed in Syria, were locals.
Salazar-Ferro points out a very important topic:
“Technological tools can get the news out, but they can also leave a clear and dangerous trial.”
On one hand, nowadays it is very easy to report about events, but on the other hand the danger and the price of reporting are becoming greater.
From my point of view it is a very interesting topic for future discussions and research.