The Listening Post

Telling Syria’s story: Media across the battle lines

A look at efforts in Damascus to sell the war inside Syria; plus, how exiled Syrian journalists send the news back home.

With the advance of pro-government forces on the Syrian city of Aleppo and a ceasefire negotiation taking place in Munich we break format this week with a special edition of The Listening Post.

It has been nearly five years since the fighting began and if you follow the coverage of the conflict you will find yourself entangled in a spider’s web of conflicting narratives.

Between Syrian state media myriad opposition outlets and the partisan news outlets in the international media getting an accurate picture of the country is near-impossible.

We talk to Hayvi Bouzo correspondent at Orient TV; Omar Al Ghazzi media scholar at the University of Sheffield; Habib Bhatta editor at The Beirut Report and journalist Nabih Bulos.

Our second report focuses on the exiled journalists who are covering the Syrian conflict from neighbouring Turkey in southern cities such as Gaziantep and Urfa.

By setting up media stations there the journalists are informing those still inside Syria about anything from where the front lines and the checkpoints are located; what goods and necessities are in short supply and updates on the latest civilian casualties.

However when dealing with a group such as ISIL reporting from across the border is no guarantee of safety. The Listening Post‘s Will Yong reports on the Syrian journalists who got out and are sending the news back in.