A publication of the World Editors Forum


Sun - 01.02.2015


As is the case with many breaking news stories, this one first surfaced on Twitter – one tweet, then two, then hundreds, all bearing the same piece of news: there has been a horrific massacre in a Damascus suburb on Saturday 20 April... and the media are ignoring it. According to Twitter users, 450 people were killed by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, including women and children, in an effort to eliminate a large number of terrorists in the area. Not exactly an ignorable news item...

The hashtag #rememberthe450 began trending on the micro-blogging site. Twitter users sensed it was their moral obligation to make this human tragedy known to the world, and simultaneously to denounce the silence of the traditional media who were failing to keep up with breaking news of such a shocking nature.

This isn't entirely true, though. Delesalle points out that the media did not ignore events in Syria, they simply chose to limit what they reported in order to avoid misinforming the public. CNN, France 24, BBC and The New York Times all reported on the violence at Jdeidet al-Fadel on their websites, but all reinforced the fact that they did not have sufficient information on the attack, and therefore, were reluctant to report on specifics as important as the number of fatalities.


Emily Moore


2013-04-24 17:27

In Syria, where 28 journalists have been killed since the March 2011 uprising, the stakes are much higher in spreading the news. Rather than report on the state of traffic, as citizen journalists in other countries might, Syrians are tackling hard news topics including lawlessness, theft, kidnapping and lack of services, according to Al Jazeera English. Journalists complain about the new reality in rebel-controlled areas, even if it involves criticizing some of the armed groups. 

"Kidnappings and theft are on the rise. We have one thousand Bashars [al-Assad, the Syrian president] now, and they are all powerful. There is no security,” said Syrian journalist Mohammed Sayed.

The majority of news reports from Syria consist of information put together by journalists outside the country and attributed to unnamed “activists.” Many journalists go under pseudonyms to prevent imprisonment, or even death.


Briana Seftel


2013-04-02 17:01

Renowned Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat, whose satirical drawings targeting corruption and lampooning dictators have been published worldwide, received the 2012 Gebran Tueni Award Wednesday, an annual prize given jointly by WAN-IFRA and Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper that honours an outstanding individual from the news media in the Arab region.

The award recognises Mr Farzat’s unprecedented contribution to freedom of expression and acknowledges his unwavering commitment, despite physical attack, to exposing the excesses of power through his cartoons.

The ceremony took place in Beirut on 11 December on the eve of the seventh anniversary of the murder of Gebran Tueni, the Lebanese publisher and a leading WAN-IFRA Board member who was killed by a car bomb in Beirut in 2005. Mr Farzat was unable to collect the award in person due to security concerns, but joined the ceremony via Skype to give his thanks to An-Nahar and praise the memory of its iconic late publisher.

“His cartoons transcend borders, cultures and political divides: they speak a thousand words on behalf of human indignity,” said Lars Munch, Director of Denmark’s JP/Politikens, accepting the award on Mr Farzat’s behalf. “He has no intention of laying his pen to rest.”


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2012-12-14 11:27

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