Opinion

Anthony De Rosa

Syria al-Shaab manages to broadcast under fire

Anthony De Rosa
Jun 11, 2012 23:25 UTC

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.

The revolution will not be televised, it will however be livestreamed.

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 19, 2012 15:55 UTC

From Occupy Wall Street in its various locations around the world, to Tahrir Square in Egypt and now to Syria, where few reporters are able to enter, livestreams from citizen journalists increasingly are becoming the only window into what’s actually happening at any given moment during some of the biggest news events.

At the outset of the revolution in Egypt, a streaming video service called Bambuser allowed live video to be streamed directly from Tahrir Square. Ramy Raoof, human rights activist and editor for Egyptian Blog for Human Rights, regularly provided live video using nothing but his Nokia E90 camera phone.

This video, documenting a protest of the death and torture of Khaled Said, netted nearly 4,000 live viewers. The archive has been watched nearly 16,000 times.

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