Monday, January 9, 2012

YouTube Project Parodies Damascus Censorship

(RSF/IFEX) - 9 January 2011 - To draw public attention to media censorship in Syria, Reporters Without Borders and the JWT Paris ad agency have produced a short video inspired by parodies of Siri, the star app on the new iPhone 4S. It shows a man hunched over his iPhone failing to get any information from Siri about Syria except the weather forecast, the only news the government is not censoring.

The outside world is managing to get some limited information about the protests in Syria and the government's bloody crackdown, but the authorities have taken radical steps to prevent Syrians from reporting anything that strays from the official line. The local media are gagged and foreign reporters have been expelled. Would-be citizen journalists who try to use the Internet are arrested and mistreated.

In order to highlight these violations of freedom of information, JWT Paris had the idea of showing Siri, whose answers to queries are not always relevant, being completely stumped by questions about current events in Syria because of the government's news blackout.

Available for viewing on the Reporters Without Borders website and social networks including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, this video is the third joint project between Reporters Without Borders and JWT Paris.

We previously worked together on the campaign for the release of the two French journalists who were held hostage in Afghanistan, Stéphane Taponier and Hervé Ghesquière, and on the "Journalists Hunt" awareness campaign.

For more information:

Reporters Without Borders
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris
rsf (@)
Phone: +33 1 44 83 84 84
Fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51

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