Read about this project in The New York Times.
The media conversation in Syria is dominated by two opposing viewpoints: the Assad regime on one hand, and extremist organizations like ISIS and Jabhat an-Nusra on the other. The silent majority of Syrians – those just trying to survive the brutal civil war devastating their country – lack independent outlets to turn to for objective news and information.
The Department of State is working with brave Syrians to change that across the country. Locals have decided to stay in their communities to provide vital information to their neighbors. Broadcasting on a mixture of radio and TV, these dedicated individuals communicate unbiased messages about everything from local fighting and emergencies to the price of food – vital information their communities desperately need. In doing so, the media outlets are also building the foundation for robust civil society once this conflict ends.
One radio station in Idlib Province is having a particularly great impact. Citizens from the surrounding area cite it as their primary and most-trusted source for news about current events. The station employees, at great risk to themselves, have resolutely stayed on the air to provide this valuable service to their community.
Despite the great work being done, many locals can’t tune in to the station for critical news, simply because they lack radios or the electricity to power them. With your help, we can solve this problem by providing simple, durable hand-cranked, solar-powered radios for the station to distribute.