Syrnet: Syria Radio Network
Project:Bringing together a radio network. Resulting radio shows broadcast inside Syria and online.
Production Runtime:September 2013 – December 2017
Partners:German Federal Foreign Office
Since September 2013 MiCT has been overseeing the development of the Syria Radio Network – SYRNET.org, a network of radio stations heard throughout Syria. The project’s aim is to diversify the information sources on Syrian airwaves and to help opposition media producers increase their professionalism; most of the opposition media is run by self-taught activists.
Part of the project involves forging connections amongst all of the broadcasters taking part, then combining their work into one broadcast, to be transmitted on VHF channels, via satellite and online. The local radio stations often use content from other stations as part of their own broadcasts and in doing so, build communities of content producers with common interests.
Localised reports then end up circulating more widely and on a national basis. The SYRNET team in Berlin works on a daily basis with the different Syrian radio stations, and follows up on program development and increasing the journalistic quality of the production. The reports are broadcast via FM antennas that MiCT erected inside Syria. Besides on-the-job coaching, MiCT runs a training program composed of up to eight workshops and meetings per year to qualify the radio stations and journalists in several aspects, like investigative journalism and media management. Part of the project also involves the production of smaller micro-transmitters that allow for broadcasting inside Syria but which are far less easy for officials to detect than the FM antennas.
The nine radio stations involved in the project also agreed on a code of conduct that commits to journalistic standards like balanced reporting and respect for privacy and accuracy, as well as coming up with general policy on matters particularly relevant to this conflict. These include such things as avoiding discrimination on an ethnic or sectarian basis or the glorification of violence.