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In Exodus: The Media's Take on Syria » Women's Courage

In Exodus: The Media's Take on Syria

February 28th, 2013 by kawoods Leave a reply »

Day by day we are bombarded with global news, informing us of conflicts, decision making, and other worldly happenings. No doubt, this age of inter-connectedness (did I just make up a word?) via web has allowed for the spread and transmission of information to and from various pockets of the world. Using this knowledge, I want to use this post to share headlines about the civil conflict in Syria and it’s resulting transition of its people. I will list several quotes and photographs, and I challenge you as readers to discuss how the media has been playing a role in spreading awareness? Are they implying a call to action? Are these words and images enough? Would you be compelled to help? Which headline or photo (or both) speak the most to you, and why?

“U.S. President Barack Obama has approved $155 million in humanitarian aid for people in Syria and refugees fleeing the violence.”

“Fighting in Syria’s civil war has killed more than 60,000 people, most of them civilians, according to the United Nations. Tens of thousands have become refugees within the country, and up to 1 million Syrian refugees have fled the violence by seeking safety in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey.”

“As the exodus of Syrians continues, Jordan isn’t just overrun; it’s overflowing.”

Jordan Overflowing with Syrians: http://www.cnn.com/video/?iid=article_sidebar#/video/world/2013/02/06/pkg-jamjoom-jordan-refugee-aid.cnn

Reflections of 14-year old Syrian Girl: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2013/01/28/damon-syrian-refugee-cayanne.cnn

Syrian Refugees Find Stability in Iraq:  http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2013/02/18/damon-kurdish-refugee-camp.cnn.html

“Syrian war is everybody’s problem.”



  1. crennels says:

    I agree that catchy or impressive headlines do not always accurately inform people about the issue at hand, nor do they serve as an effective call to action. We are bombarded with statistics that quantify human suffering on a huge scale. The result may be that we are desensitized, or that we feel there are simply too many problems for us to have much of an impact. At any rate, glancing over an article on a free news source (which, as Jessie points out, probably does not contain the best news) does not really lead us to think critically or deeply about an issue. It also becomes more difficult to identify a biased news source versus a reliable one if there are so many news sources to consider– we lose sight of what qualifies good news. Some information is better than none, of course. An overflow of facts and statistics, however, is probably not conducive to deep involvement and interaction with the issues.

  2. Jessie says:

    I agree that we certainly have more access to information via the internet than 50 or even 10 years ago, and this is contributing to globalization and the connections that exist across nations and continents. However, to some extent, I feel that the ease of access to information is leading us to be more sedentary. We have all of this information at our finger tips, and we are more aware of conflicts that are going on in the world, but this does not necessarily imply a call to action and does not ensure that people will act on the information that they are given. Every day, there is some article in the newspaper about the conflict going on in Syria and yet no one seems to be acting. What’s more, the majority of the information we receive, as reflected by the first article title that you posted, highlights the good that our government is doing and how charitable we are being. This seems like the wrong place to focus. Rather, we should be able to read about the horrors of the refugee situation and the challenges that these individuals will face in the coming weeks, months, and years as they try to reconstruct their lives. Though this is a bit tangential, what concerns me even more is the general direction of the internet, toward having to pay for all news sources. The free news sources do not have deep or important content, and the more accurate and regulated news sources are no longer free. Thus, if this trend continues, it seems that we’ll reach a point where only those with the ability to pay to subscribe to newspapers will be able to access important information about the state of the world. So though the internet has done many good things for us in aiding the spread of information, we also need to be careful about how privatized we allow it to become, or soon enough, it will become a restrictive factor, preventing access to adequate information.

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