Thursday, July 21, 2016
Over the past five years, Syria has faced a devastating civil war, which has led to a gradual descent into civil strife, creating an environment in which media operation has become increasingly difficult. Efforts to develop Syria's emerging media sector have also been hampered by the limited availability of research on audiences, media channels, and the impact of Syrian media organizations.

The recently published audience research report on Syria aims to close this void and develop a reliable picture of what is going on ‘on the ground’. The main findings of the report are:

  • In Syria, television is the dominant media type with high usage and availability rates in all areas studied. Television is followed by online media, print media, and finally radio.
  • Media aligned with the Syrian government are leading in government-controlled areas, and opposition-aligned media are leading in opposition areas. There are indications that media not clearly aligned with a particular camp have a following across the board.
  • Pro-government and opposition audiences are deeply divided in their media following and in their perceptions about their communities. Being open to both media camps does not always translate into a stronger critical view of the media.
  • Syrian audiences are confident that they are well-informed about the general geopolitical situation, but sometimes express less confidence that they are receiving adequate information regarding immediate local affairs.

The research was conducted by the team of Dr. Jad Melki (IMRT, Lebanese American University). The publication ‘Syria Audience Research 2016’ is produced through a collaboration between Free Press Unlimited, Media in Cooperation and Transition (MICT) and the members of the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD). The publication was supported by the European Union, Sida, UNESCO, International Media Support (IMS) and the German Federal Foreign Office.

The report can be downloaded here.

In follow-up to this quantitative research report more in-depth information was collected from the Syrian audience through interviews, the result of this qualitative research can be downloaded here.