Syrian security forces shot dead 29 people across the country Sept. 15, making last week one of the bloodiest in recent weeks, according to The New York Times.
Since the unrest began in mid-March, the United Nations estimates 2,700 people have been killed and human rights groups say more than 10,000 people have been jailed, according to Times.
But sadly most Americans don’t care, or that’s what news organizations are saying by dropping coverage of the violent crackdowns in Syria.
It’s not that Americans don’t care; it’s the media who doesn’t find the uprising important, and arguably for good reasons.
First, the Western media hasn’t been allowed into Syria, so journalists cannot confirm what is actually happening on the ground in Syria.
Second, the videos shot on cellphones that leak out via Facebook and Youtube are rather graphic and scare and disgust audiences. The content of the videos also cannot be confirmed, since journalists are not allowed in the country.
Third, the coverage becomes gruesomely repetitive, when reporting about protestors clashing with security forces and the death toll.
Nonetheless, the Western media should keep the spotlight on the violent crackdowns by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because the media focus on the Egyptian protests helped end the violent crackdown on Egyptians.
Anyway, there are relevant ways to write about the Syrian uprising without having to be in the country.
National Public Radio’s reporters talked to refugees fleeing the violence in Syria for the Turkish border. They were able to humanize the Syrian refugees and their drama, while keeping the story relevant and interesting.
A journalist’s job is to speak for the voiceless. I hope the Western media doesn’t forget this.
Cellphones today have become as ubiquitous as televisions.
Even in the most impoverished countries, like Haiti, one-third of the population has cellphones, many of which have internet connectivity.
Many media organizations, such as CNN and NPR, have taken advantage of this technology wave by introducing mobile apps, which connect smartphone-users to news content, and utilizing social media, like Facebook and Twitter, that send subscribers breaking news updates.
Instead of just using mobile media as a tool to connect to consumers, VeriCorder Technology Inc. has taken it one step further by introducing a mobile editing app called 1st Video that allow journalists to take and edit video, photos and audio on their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and publish news stories straight to the web.
Now, journalists are able to disperse important breaking news quicker. It also contributes to better, more in-depth news stories, as journalists can take more time in the field building their stories without the fear of missing a deadline.
The mobile editing app is also considerably cheaper than hardware costs of traditional equipment.
Journalists can be ready to file quality stories for less than $300. A professional camera alone can cost more than $2,000.
VeriCorder also offers hardware, such as lenses and microphones, that are compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and their mobile editing apps.
The 1st Video app completes the mobile media loop, making news from production to consumption totally wireless.