Syria al-Shaab manages to broadcast under fire

By Anthony De Rosa
June 11, 2012

Using a combination of in-studio anchors and citizens piped in from Skype reporting directly from the ground, Syria al-Shaab manages to broadcast 12 hours of live programming a day from a country that won’t allow foreign reporters in.

“They hacked into our Skype account about a week ago and sent a virus to all the contacts in it. Every time they do something like that, we know we are doing our jobs” said Summer Ajlouni, founder of Syria al-Shaab in a report by Dan Rather of HDNet.

The channel exists underground. The Syrian regime, according to the broadcasters, is watching, they’ve tried to shut down their satellite broadcasts and jam their Skype contacts, but it has only made the tiny outfit want to do more.

Ahman based Syria al-Shaab is bankrolled on the back of donations with a total of 15 people to run the entire network, in front and behind the camera. They rely on citizens for footage, which are taken with their cellphones and computer cameras.

The channel is seen by satellite and broadcasted online and shared across social media, by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Anchor Qutaiba Al-Khatib left a job in the UAE to join the fledgling Syria al-Shaab because he believed in what they were doing.

Dan Rather Reports will be taking a close look at Syria al-Shaab on HDnet, airing on Tuesday, June 12th at 8pmET/5pmPT with a reair at 11pmET/8pmPT. Here’s a preview.

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