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Amid bloodshed and chaos, Syrian wages a war for neutral reporting

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One of the major problems with Syrian troops, he insists, is not that most of them are "criminals," but that they simply "don’t know what’s going on" – and the same could be said of many of those in the extreme opposition.

Meanwhile, the international community is foundering amid attempts to understand what is happening on the ground. Because reporters have an easier time accessing opposition sources and visiting opposition-controlled areas, international coverage of Syria has been skewed, Jarrah argues.

"You aren’t seeing any media coverage of Damascus and Latakia," where the government is still strong, both because reporters are not granted access and because "those who support Assad think they should not speak to journalists, that the media is trying to weaken the country," he says.

And coverage of the opposition isn't very fair either, he says, claiming that Western reporters "are only going in with the extreme opposition," such as Al Qaeda-linked groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, which the US recently designated a terrorist organization. Jarrah says reports about the prevalence of such groups are "over-exaggerated" because they sell more copy.

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