Altering courses in unknown waters : interaction between traditional and new media during the first months of the Syrian uprising
This papers aims at investigating the relationship between traditional and social media during the first six months of the Syrian uprising. Thanks to direct testimony made available to the author by various cyber activists inside and outside Syria and through constant monitoring of the official propaganda and the coverage of the Syrian events by the two main pan-Arab satellite TVs, this article intends to investigate how both the regime and the activists attempt to represent the “real events on the ground”. In a country where the foreign and pan-Arab press have been mostly expelled since the beginning of the protests and the consequent repression, these two opposite poles heavily fight on the media level. On the one hand, the propaganda dominates traditional media and has sought to show familiarity with new methods, while maintaining the same content and rhetorical tone. On the other hand, the activists, masters of the new media, attempted to overcome the limitations of their tools, aiming at more traditional forms of communication. In both cases, the Internet has emerged as the main weapon of this media confrontation.