Searching for Syria: story feature analysis

https://searchingforsyria.org/en/how-can-i-help-syrian-refugees/

This ‘Searching for Syria’ story feature is an interactive story all about Syria. As the war has been going on for over 6 years now, in the current media what we mostly see and know about Syria is negative. We know there is a civil war happening, and that there are millions of refugees and people taking asylum as a result. This tells a story using facts, personal stories and interesting visuals of what Syria used to be and what it is now. At the end it also gives readers somewhat of a solution to the problem, with options to share the story onto social media, donate to make a difference or to join by pledging support. There are easy pop ups for extra information, which doesn’t take you away from where you are up to in the story. Super easy for anyone to navigate.

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This article is pitched for people who may not know much about Syria. It is very informative but not overwhelming. But at the same time it is a very specific piece of media, not something that is a quick read. The story is detailed with a timeline. What Syria was like before the war and what is currently going on in Syria. The visuals also complement the text very well, even are of equal importance. The visual essay brings together all different types of media with photos and videos.

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This article comparing to others is important in letting people know what is going on without bombarding people. Some people do not like to read about what is going on in the world because there isn’t much a reader feels like they can do about it. This unique piece on Syria does not soften up the situation, but more shows people what is happening in a more deeper way.

‘UN: Syria responsible for sarin attack that killed scores’

Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 7.12.23 pmArticles like this one gives us current updates on what has happened however the language is quite overwhelming for readers. Searching for Syria shows you what Syria was like and what it is now in a result from the war, it shows rather than tells and does not involve politics or what country declares what. It gives the readers a chance to understand it, from the perspectives of many people experiencing it.

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From the journal article ‘Towards a theory and (better) practice of peace journalism’, by Wilhelm Kempf (Conflict and Communication online, 2017), media has 3 purposes. 1. It provides information sources, 2. communication channels for decision-makers and 3. means to secure public support (p.g. 1).

Reading Searching for Syria reminded me of the type of reporting known as Peace Journalism. (Lynch & McGoldrick 2005) define it as ‘when editors and reporters make choices of what stories to report and how to report them -which create opportunities for society at large to consider and to value non-violent responses to conflict.’ This article gives non-conflict solutions and is very explanatory in every aspect. The interactive parts make you interested, and scrolling through each part to continue the story makes you intrigued to know all the facts. I personally learnt many things I didn’t know about Syria, one example is before the war it actually drew a lot of tourists even more than Australia. Using infographics it said that in 2010 Australia had 5.8 million tourists whereas Syria had 8.5 million. (The World Bank, International Tourism). Also by 2017 up to 5.5 million Syrians had become refugees, seeking shelter within Syria and surrounding countries.

‘There are now more people displaced by conflict or persecution than any time since World War II.’

This is a handy use for media and is very innovative. The trends in media now are more storytelling and engaging. There are so many outlets so keeping people’s attention is so important, this way people can read about world issues and know more about what is going on through these narratives.

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