Updates on Syria in the media

As we discussed on Thursday, media are acting as diplomat again with regards to the U.S.’s involvement in Syria. Over the weekend, President Obama announced six network interviews to air Monday evening, in which he would discuss his views and attempt to increase support for American intervention. Additionally, Charlie Rose, an Emmy-winning interviewer for PBS, announced that he would interview Bashar al-Assad. The interview is set to air to American audiences Monday evening as well.

Nicholas Kristof will host a Google+ hangout this afternoon with Secretary of State, John Kerry. As described by the Department of State’s Official Blog: “This roundtable discussion will weigh the United States’ response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.  Secretary Kerry’s participation in this event represents our ongoing efforts to explain why taking action to hold the Assad regime accountable for its violation of international norms is important to our interests and our security.” Kristof, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, human rights activist, and supporter on American intervention, set up the digital meeting to continue discussion regarding the Syrian conflict.

We’ll discuss foreign correspondents in the next few weeks, but The Committee to Protect Journalists calls Syria “the deadliest country in the world for journalists.”   Without the cost of travel or production teams,  the rising tensions make it difficult to get journalists on the ground to cover breaking news. As a result, much of the video footage and reporting come from YouTube. Here, the NY Times discusses the task of authenticating this citizen journalism.

Finally, I found this over the weekend, and I’m just blown away. Talk about media shift! This site, Syria Deeply, is an “independent digital media project led by journalists and technologists that explores a new model of storytelling around a global crisis.” The site uses interactive graphics, stories from Syrians, maps, timelines, and video to “build a better user experience of the story by adding context to content, using the latest digital tools of the day. Over time the hope is to add greater clarity, deeper understanding and more sustained engagement to the global conversation.” Receiving no federal funding, Syria Deeply is maintained by grants and with support from the World Economic Forum, the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and the Baker Institute at Rice University. Check it out!

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