As the sun stretches over the Arab world, crises unfold.
But are these stories being told? Do we hear the voices, see the needs, realize the consequences.
Read this report by Jeff Ghannam, a veteran in telling us about the role of the media in the Arab world – especially social media.
Here is a quote:
“But for all the attention to the scale of the tragedy, the kinds of information needed by the victims is often lost. To listen to Nabil Al Khatib, executive editor of Saudiowned Al Arabiya, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the human stories in the conflicts are buried under the daily tallies of those killed. “This is a lost story,” he says. “You will find that most reporters are reporting in a general way. It leads to boring reporting and it leads to people being detached from news,” Al Khatib says. “This is one of the biggest challenges, and it can only be resolved by training. I started my TV reporting career covering Palestine, Israel, and Jordan and my biggest issue was how to continue reporting from a humanitarian point of view and focus on individuals. Individual stories are always unique and people would like to hear them.” He says reporters covering the migrant crisis for the network in Europe were senior correspondents based in the region. While not all were trained in covering crises from a humanitarian point of view, the network devoted significant resources for special reports from Europe, tracking the migrant crisis with live reports, which Al Khatib points to with great pride as a journalistic, logistic, and operational success. Still, he says, training and raising awareness among the rank and file are needed to produce stories about the wars’ impact on humanity. “If you try to check how many humanitarian stories there are about Syrians stuck in Syria, you will see very few reports,” Al Khatib says. “The [civilians] are not being covered, the fighters are being covered. This is what the news agencies are looking for, they buy this footage from fixers who just learned how to use a video camera. A rocket was shot from here, a child got killed from here…..”