Structuring Syria’s “SMART News Agency”

Structuring Syria’s “SMART News Agency”


To contribute to the development of the SMART News Agency by providing support for its editorial, entrepreneurial and financial structuring, and by enhancing the professionalism of its teams.
320 K



Professional South

A project

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In partnership with

Project timeline

October 2016
October 2017


In Syria, the first "free and independent" media emerged in 2011, some in the "liberated" north of the country and others in regime-controlled zones. Most frequently, however, the new media made their appearance in Turkey and even in Europe.

This project aims to provide support for Syria's SMART News Agency, which is based in Turkey. Launched in August 2013, this agency offers various Arabic-language news media (text, photographs, videos). Although it has a number of competitive advantages, in order to secure its long-term future it must consolidate its structure and strengthen the professionalism of its teams.

This project is just one of the ongoing actions implemented by CFI in connection with the Syrian media since the beginning of the uprising in the country, particularly the opening of a Syrian media incubator in Gaziantep (Turkey) from early 2014 to late 2015.

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Project beneficiaries

50 professionals from the Syrian agency

Project manager

1.Performing an audit and producing a general training plan

After analysis of how the agency operates and of the quality of its products, solutions will be proposed for developing teams' competences and setting up the new editorial policy.

2.In situ mentoring of teams (Istanbul)

Support for the agency's production from an expert who will assume the role of editor-in-chief. Assistance with drafting the agency's Style Book along the lines of Reuters' Handbook of Journalism.

3.Online remote training courses for the teams

The teams will be made more familiar with thematic reporting and also investigative reporting.

4.Specific training courses

In accordance with requirements, the teams will take training courses in the basic principles and techniques of journalism, conducting interviews, processing economic information, video production, photography and also data-journalism.

5.Redefinition of roles and responsibilities within the agency to enhance effective working

Implementation of an evaluation and the drafting of recommendations.

6.Improvement of the agency's activity and product legal and security framework

Implementation of an expert legal review of intellectual property, training in the field of intellectual property and on negotiation techniques in the event of security problems.

7.Strengthening the agency's competitive edge (sales strategy)

Benchmark studies of other agencies' rates and the identification of new prospects.

8.Preparation of a genuine marketing strategy

Digital, e-commerce advisory services and the setting-up of a long-term development plan.

9.Development of content in English

And roll-out of the English version of the agency's website.

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