Chapter Syria: Part II

by mkleit
The International Average

The Syrian epic has been thought to be an international menace, Arab speaking ofcourse. By geography, the Syrian territory is a threat to the Jewish establishment in occupied Palestine, adding to that the occupation of Israeli forces to southern Syrian villages known as “Al-Julan”. And by political standards, it became a great force against the occupiers through its adversary policy towards the Zionist state.

Though it became a typical fad, the notion of the Syrian revolution was accused to be Western-Zionist propaganda to rule out the Assad regime. As for some analysts, the Syrian public took advantage of the Arab Spring to claim their rights in better life standards, though some of it true, but other allegations were pointed towards Western infiltration and interference in Syrian citizens’ affairs. Whether this or that, the Arab media played an important role in courses change that happened in the lands of “al Sham”. What started off in the village of Dar’aa and spread out to the rest of the major cities was definitely a fact; the murders, the attacks, the protests, and the claims of rights were a huge wave of particulars shown through the TV screens and on the front pages of local newspapers, but the question lies in the credibility of the news outlets in showing Syrian epic. 

Media Hypnosis

White and Black Justice

A new chapter was open during these events, where the monkey’s paw had two extremists’ opinions towards the Syrian regime, whether totally with or absolutely against. Media played the definitive role in showing nation’s sidings. As one fellow journalist, James Marlow working for the Lebanese Hibr Newspaper, told me in a chat about the Syrian situation: “Media is the blood of society.”And for the viewer, there were only black and white lines, and a lack of grey space, for anti-regime news media showed the protesters point of view, representing the cruel and harsh ways of torture from military and police officers towards the peaceful protests happening, banning them from claiming a right. While as pro-regime new media were able to characterize the Syrian problem as null, screening short videos of the Syrian major cities called as “the hot spots” such as Hama, Damascus, Homos, and Aleppo, to reveal the tranquility the citizens are living in, and only showing footage of military men’s funerals and the brutality of protesters, or disrupters as pro-regime media outlets call them.

A new double standard was born at that time, where the only opinion to be heard is the owner’s opinion and who agrees with it. Regardless of right and wrong or professional news ethics, news media outlets gave a certain boost to its credibility by giving time to the people to place their points of view in open air discussion shows. But the given time was only specified for certain people, the ones who agree with the station’s policy, whether it’s pro or anti-regime, in order to strengthen that station’s stature amongst its audience. Thus pro and anti-regime news outlets broke loose to appoint specialists, analysts, opinion givers, politicians, and citizens to support their opinion and ideology towards the Syrian situation. Moreover, those who believe in free media and its purpose as a voice of the people, would be silenced immediately either to “technical problems” or “shortage of time”.

Wafaa Haidar, employer at the government owned Tele-Liban and professor at the Lebanese International University, said in a lecture about Arab news media: “Even if we differed in points of views, we have no right to cancel each other with mindless names and adjectives,” and adding later on “All credible media outlets failed in professional coverage when it came to Syria. Some mistakes were small, others were large, but they’re still mistakes and all unethical.” In an example not so far away from the start of the Syrian problems, an open air discussion show on Al-Jazeera was receiving phone calls from Syrians from inside and outside Syria, most callers were anti-regime, but a pro-regime caller was put on air, he was quickly cut off air when he was describing the peace and harmony Syrians of all faiths were living before the protests started.

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