3 min read  | Culture & Society, Interviews

‘It is the right of any regime to lie to defend itself, but we as journalists have to reveal the truth’


October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

سلاف الزعبيAs dangers continue to rise for journalists on the ground inside Syria, Bashar al-Assad and his deputies continue a months-long tour of the mainstream international media making their case for why they are fighting terrorists in Syria.

It is a narrative that, like any other, deserves further scrutiny, says Jordanian journalist Dr. Sulafa Faruq al-Zoubi, who is also a professor at and former dean of the journalism school at Zarqa University.“A reporter who supports the Syrian revolution must reveal what the rebels do right and what they do wrong,” al-Zoubi tells NuhaShabaan.

Q: Syria is very dangerous right now. As a journalist who has covered wars and political upheaval, how can television coverage of Syria improve?

A: Any way is a good way.  The journalist must possess credibility and must be honest in order to convince people of the validity of the work. He must be sincere, but if he is disorganized or confused he will face criticism or might lose his credibility.

A reporter who supports the Syrian revolution must reveal what the rebels do right and what they do wrong. We do not want to replace a bad thing with something even worse.

Q: Have you seen all of Bashar al-Assad’s interviews in the international media?

A: I have seen most of them, but not all of them, as they make me personally nervous. He reminds me of Dracula, the vampire. He is responsible forall those Syrians who have died since the beginning of the revolution, from the Syrian army and the rebels.

Q: What is the role of journalists in these interviews? What should a journalist do when the Syrian president lies about his government’s use of chemical weapons?

A: It is the right of any regime to lie to defend itself, but we as journalists have to reveal the truth, using proof and evidence as we delve deeper and deeper into all corners of history.  The only path for a journalist is to work to completely expose the truth, with fairness and evidence, without regard to personal interests. Hiding behind interests these days does no justice to the Syrian people.

Q: What are the differences and similarities you notice between  the Iraq war and the war in Syria now?

A: The two wars are totally different from each other. Iraq was a war where a foreign country wanted to occupy, in the name of liberation from an unjust and a tyrannical regime. The occupying power was aided by traitors and mercenaries, who stayed in hotels in Britain and America, being paid by those countries.

The situation in Syria is very different. [The war] in Syria began as a revolution by the people, wronged and oppressed by the ruling regime. The result has been the destruction of everything in Syria; the regime has sent the nation back more than 50 years. In addition, a part of the revolution was stolen by mercenaries in hotels, like Iraq.

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