The stories on the commercial news channels such as Nine, Ten and Prime Seven, are heavily censored and generally focused on relative Australian events. The coverage on the havoc happening overseas is not something we hear much about and a lot of the stories on the war in Syria are speculation or fabricated.
There are currently zero mainstream legacy media journalists working from the site of war in Syria so how are we to be informed on what is going on outside of the protected bubble we live in? Switch over to new forms of media like twitter accounts such as Ivan Sidorenko and you’ll get information from a source living amongst the terror that has spread like a parasite over Syria. And if you’ve lost faith in journalism, switch over to an independent broadcaster like ABC. I am a supporter of the network and here are just a couple of reasons why; The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is government owned and funded however remain editorially independent under the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983. In the 1940s, Bureaus opened in Europe, the Middle East, Greece and the Asia Pacific as a response to the strong demand for credible news, and this has progressed right up to the present.
On Monday 24th April 2017 the ABC program Four Corners aired the episode titled ‘Syria’s Disappeared: The Case Against Assad’. I am not a very familiar with Four Corners and the stories they share. I heard about the story from my parents who told me it was worth looking at because it was, in their words, ‘an eye opener’. My mother shook her head, ‘we just have no idea and no correlation to what’s happening over there’.
I sat down earlier today to watch the story and I was shocked to say the least and struck with disbelief, which says something about the prior knowledge on the war I had received thus far. The episode exposed the acts of brutality on Syrian men, women and children enforced by their own government ran by president Bashar al-Assad. In Europe a team of war crime investigators have been building a case against the Syrian regime. Thousands of Syrians who have spoken out against the Syrian government have been killed, tortured or disappeared into thin air after their arrests. Now the survivors and families of those who have died or disappeared are standing up and demanding justice for the corrupt actions of their government. Even a former US Ambassador has come forward to speak against the inhumane and illegal movements of Syrian Officials.
I was confronted by this story but what it addressed only covered a fraction of the atrocities that occur. It wasn’t a story that made me feel happy, it did not bring laughter, pride or joy but it gave me insight. I finished watching with a better understanding of circumstances that don’t affect me directly but looking at the big picture and are detrimental to humanity’s future welfare. Sometimes the truth hurts but those stories develop a sense of understanding which starts a conversation and a conversation travels and grows and there is hope that change is bound to come next. The current affairs in Australia is important, the current affairs in Syria is important, to make a choice between the two is not necessary.