On 21 and 22 July 2015, 13 Syrian alternative radio stations and 9 radio stations from Arab countries in the region gathered in Gaziantep (Turkey) to take part in a joint reflective process and share editorial practices between radio stations operating in conflict or post-conflict situations or in difficult transitions.
For the past four years, Syria has been one of the most dangerous regions for media professionals. Despite the growing risks owing to the proliferation of armed groups, new radio stations are being launched, initially online but also on FM, both in exile and on Syrian territory. Their creative broadcasts and the vital information they transmit, which ties in closely with the concerns of the population, are helping to give rise to a new civil society.
Over two days, 42 journalists – 32 of which were of Syrian origin – and a number of managers and consultants participated in the CFI-organised conference. The issues addressed included: 'How to broadcast on FM in conflict situations', 'What economic model to adopt to ensure independence and viability', and 'How to manage the security of reporters on the ground'.
The conference served as a means of measuring how much progress had been made, benefitting from the experience of radio stations from Yemen, Libya, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia and the Balkans (Serbia and Bosnia), and drawing up a roadmap for the purpose of strengthening the Syrian independent media networks and helping their teams to adopt more professional practices.
"This conference was the first to be specifically
dedicated to Syrian radio stations and their role
in the current environment" ,
stressed Ali Safar, a journalist from Radio Sawt.
By the end of the two days, the participants had formulated the following joint recommendations:
For radio stations:
For financial backers:
For partner organisations:
In late September, the Syrian Media Incubator will organise and host two days of workshops on the role of the written press in Syria and more generally in conflict areas and regions undergoing difficult transitions.