Deciphering User-Generated Content in Transitional Societies: A Syria Coverage Case Study (2012)

18 June 2012, dusan

“Social media and user-generated content played an important role in coverage of the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya; however, content from the public was supplementary to traditional newsgathering in media coverage.

By contrast, in Syria, with the tight control and exclusion of foreign media, news organizations had to rely almost exclusively on user-generated content, particularly in the early months of the uprising. Much of the user-generated content used by news outlets came via Syrian activists inside Syria and in exile.

To examine how user-generated content has been integrated into prominent Arab-language news organizations, Internews commissioned and collaborated with the Center for Global Communication Studies to produce Deciphering User-Generated Content In Transitional Societies: A Syria Coverage Case Study which looks closely at how BBC Arabic and Al Jazeera Arabic used social media, photos and videos taken by members of the public to provide coverage of the uprising in Syria, particularly in the early days of the uprising.

Based on research conducted over a 12-week period between No­vember 2011 and January 2012, this study employed a qualitative, mixed method approach using literature review, in-depth interviews with 19 media practitioners, academics, activists and commentators; and, a content analysis of the news and current affairs output of BBC Arabic and Al Jazeera Arabic, focusing on three major events at different stages of the Syrian revolt.”

March 2012
Report by the Center for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, commissioned by Internews
Authors: Juliette Harkin, Kevin Anderson, Libby Morgan, Briar Smith
40 pages



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