KAS supports establishment of independent media in Syria

Syria/Iraq Office and Syria Direct found news platform Syrian Voice

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Out of 180 countries, Syria has ranked 177 in the latest World Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders. In order to enhance the establishment of a free media landscape in the country, the KAS Syria/Iraq office has supported the NGO Syria Direct in the first half of 2017 in founding the news platform Syrian Voice. The website, which by now has more than 20,000 followers on Facebook, features reporting of ten Syrian journalists from all parts of the country. Since mid-August, KAS and Syria Direct are implementing another project to further citizen journalism in southern Syria.

After a several-week long training for Syrian journalists in 2016, the founding of the independent news platform Syrian Voice (Link) is the second cooperation between Syria Direct and the KAS Syria/Iraq Office. The platform’s ten journalists report both from areas that are government controlled and those that are administered by armed opposition groups in the provinces of Daraa, Damascus, Homs, Hama, Idlib and Aleppo. Reporting on areas still under the control of the Islamic State in Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa is undertaken from Turkey. All articles on Syria Voice are published in English, German and in Arabic. In contrast to many other Syrian media outlets, Syria Voice does not put its main focus on the military events of the conflict, but instead analyses its impact on the daily life of the residents. An example of this work is a weekly-published index, which compares the prices of basic foodstuffs in differently controlled areas all over the country. The goal of the project is to diversify the Syrian media landscape in order to establish a critical and relevant source of information for both the local civil society and the international community.

Moreover, Syria Direct started on 20 August with the support of the KAS Syria/Iraq office to train citizen journalists in the southern provinces of Quneitra, Daraa and as-Suwaida. The trainings entail interview techniques, journalistic writing, data journalism and digital security. The project not only aims to raise the international community’s awareness for the challenges and needs of the people living in the south of Syria, but also to enhance dialogue among Syrians in the three provinces.


Nils Wörmer, Lucas Lamberty

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Lebanon, September 5, 2017

Syrian Voice