Alaa Ebrahim (Syrian Presenter) — What are the main points of view that you will be raising in this documentary?
(Lizzie Phelan) — The main point is to basically deconstruct the main fabrications that have been put forward by the global media, mainly the western media and channels, particularly Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. And these fabrications are that the army is on a mass systematic scale killing peaceful protesters, that there is no democracy in Syria, that there is no respect for human rights and that there is no support for President Bashar Al-Assad. So the documentary deals with all of these fabrications and in effect shows that in many of the cases they are complete and outright lies.
(S.P) — You said that these are fabrications, for many of our viewers and people who are watching us, when they hear the word fabrication they would say “why would a TV channel, a leading TV channel and mainstream media, fabricate news about Syria?” When you see five or six or seven news outlets doing the same coverage, how would you explain that there are fabrications, as you would call them?
(L.P) — It is quite clear that in the West and in certain Arab countries that the media is inseparable from the state and the governments. So for example the BBC is funded by the British state, Al Jazeera is funded by the Qatari state, so in effect it is very naïve to think that these news organisations will report in a way that contradicts the foreign policy of their countries. We know very well that Qatar has been calling for foreign intervention in Syria very openly and actively. Just as they did in Libya. What I am talking about now applies to Libya. Britain and the NATO countries have been pushing for intervention in Syria so it is the role of the media of these countries to provide a narrative that supports intervention in Syria. So really it is naïve to think that these organisations are independent and have the ability to be objective. They are not independent. They have to serve the foreign policy interest.
(S.P) — So what you are saying is that if the BBC is funded by the United Kingdom and Al Jazeera is funded by the Qatari government and if Al Arabiya is funded by the Saudi government, France 24 by the French government and so on, these are a translation of the foreign policy of the governments and not free journalism?
(L.P) — Absolutely.
(S.P) — Recently we have seen a shift in the coverage regarding the events in Syria. Up to a certain point, no media outlets would acknowledge the presence of gunmen in protests in Syria. Everyone was saying this was a peaceful protest and according to them the security and army were systematically killing peaceful protesters. But when the Arab League (AL) observers entered Syria and for some reason the insurgents and the presence of the insurgents became undeniable, we saw a shift in the coverage. They started justifying the presence of the insurgents and justifying the militants. Why do you think this is?
(L.P) — I think there are two things. First of all as you said at the beginning, there was completely no acknowledgement that the government was fighting against armed insurgents. It was all about the government attacking “peaceful protesters.” But as you say because the A.L have begun to acknowledge the presence it has become impossible for this to be denied. But, and as you rightly say, there is the danger now that these armed groups are being legitimised. And I think this is because NATO countries and other countries like Qatar have been unsuccessful in pushing for intervention in the way they wanted to do it, like how they did in Libya via the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). I think now in creating this organisation they call the Free Syrian Army (FSA) they are effectively trying to say that the FSA or the armed insurgents are legitimate and therefore it is legitimate for us to support them and this is a very dangerous road for us to go down. It is a blatant violation of the sovereignty of an independent nation.
Source: Syria News