Since the start of the Syrian civil war, both Syrian public-owned and private-owned media has alleged that outlets like Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, BBC and France 24 are conspiring against the Syrian government to disrupt its stability. Syria is ranked the 3rd most repressive country in the world in terms of press freedom by the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the 4th most repressive by Reporters Without Borders.
As in the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the Internet played a major role in the organization and coverage of the protests/armed-uprising. As of 2011 the largest Facebook page in support of the Syrian uprising was "The Syrian Revolution 2011", which claimed more than 383,000 followers. The page, co-founded by Fida al-Sayed, reports on news related to the uprising and provides general guidelines for protests. Every Friday, the page suggests a new name for the demonstrators in Syria.
Since international news media was banned in Syria, the main source of second-hand information/dis-information was private videos usually taken by shaky mobile phone cameras and uploaded to YouTube. Such videos were difficult to verify independently, and several TV stations showed older footage from Iraq and Lebanon, which was claimed to have been filmed in Syria.
As if to add badly needed credibility to the videos, protestors often explicitly mention the date and location of the scene. Sometimes current newspaper issues are also shown. The largest collection of these videos is found on OnSyria, which as of 2011 had more than 200,000 videos.
Between January 2012 and September 2013, over a million videos documenting the war have been uploaded, and they have received hundreds of millions of views. The Wall Street Journal states that the "unprecedented confluence of two technologies—cellphone cams and social media—has produced, via the instant upload, a new phenomenon: the YouTube war." The New York Times states that online videos have "allowed a widening war to be documented like no other."
- Media in Syria
- "10 Most Censored Countries". Committee to Protect Journalists. 2 May 2012. http://cpj.org/reports/2012/05/10-most-censored-countries.php. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- "Press Freedom Index 2011-2012". Reporters Without Borders. http://en.rsf.org/press-freedom-index-2011-2012,1043.html. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- Revolution M on Facebook
- "Media Watch: Beware the 'trusted' source". ABC. Australia. 16 May 2011. http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3218415.htm. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Gigantisk DR-bommert uden konsekvenser –". Avisen.dk. 18 May 2011. http://avisen.dk/gigantisk-dr-bommert-uden-konsekvenser_146651.aspx. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "OnSyria". OnSyria. http://www.onsyria.com. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
- "Syria's War Viewed Almost in Real Time". 27 September 2013. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324492604579083112566791956.html.
- "Watching Syria's War". http://projects.nytimes.com/watching-syrias-war. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
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