The Syrian Media Response to the Disaster

The Syrian Media Response to the Disaster

An exploratory research paper exploring the realities of Syrian Alternative Media Institutions and journalists after the 6 February Turkey–Syria Earthquake.

A publication by The Syrian Female Journalists Network (SFJN) (2023). A non-profit organisation registered in The Netherlands. Vossenstraat 6, 6811 JL, Arnhem, Netherlands.

All rights reserved. The content of this publication can be freely used for non-commercial educational purposes, provided that each copy should be referenced to the source of the publications: The Syrian Female Journalists Network.

The Syrian Alternative Media Institutions and journalists have been working under special circumstances and persistent challenges. The alternative media sector emerged during the Syrian Uprising. During the setup phase, it faced all obstacles and challenges related to the lives of the Syrians under the Regime’s violence and repression, and later, facing the violence resulting from the war in Syria, as well as migration and displacement, and the involvement of different international and regional parties in the conflict. All these difficulties and challenges over the past twelve years helped accumulate various capabilities and experiences in media work, coverage, and response. 

The earthquake was a natural disaster in an abnormal context, where its severity and effects were compounded by various factors surrounding the Syrians and their cause. Thus, covering this disaster has been very complicated, primarily because journalists themselves became victims of the earthquake. While the main headquarters of the media institutions in northwest Syria and southern Turkey were affected by the disaster, it was necessary to provide media coverage and inform people about what happened. Therefore, our understanding of the impacts and dimensions of the disaster on media is based on the discussion of how journalists and media institutions lived the earthquake and covered its news. 

This exploratory paper came to better understand the first media experience in natural disasters – the earthquake, taking into account the multiple layers of the reality of the Syrian Alternative Media pre-disaster, the challenges and threats, both at the organisational and individual levels, in particular, the challenges faced by women journalists, as well as the impacts on media coverage itself.  


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