Islamic State group's 'journalist rules' draw concern

Islamic State group's 'journalist rules' draw concern
Stringent rules place severe restrictions on what may be reported from territory controlled by the armed group.
2 min read
10 October, 2014
Deir Ezzor is controlled by the Islamic State group [AFP]
International organisations continue to warn about the dangers faced by journalists in Syria - especially since the rise of the Islamic State group (IS, formerly known as ISIS). Now the Syria Deeply website has revealed further details about the treatment of journalists in IS-controled areas.

Syria Deeply
has listed 11 rules written by IS for journalists in the city of Deir Ezzor. Journalists can reportedly only work if they accept these conditions:

1. Journalists must proclaim their loyalty to IS' leader, Abu-Bakr al-Baghadi.

2. Every journalist must work under the supervision of the IS media office.

3. Journalists may work for international news agencies such as Reuters, AP and AFP, but they cannot work for any local or foreign satellite channel.

4. They are expressly forbidden from working with channels such as al-Arabiya and
     These rules are not final and are subject to change at any time.
al-Jazeera, blacklisted by IS "for fighting against Islamic countries".

5. Journalists are allowed to cover activities in the region with written articles and pictures without having to refer to the IS media office, but only if the reports explicitly name the journalist responsible.

6. Lengthy, in-depth features cannot be sent to any media outlet without prior permission from the IS media office. 

7. Journalists are free to create accounts on social networking sites, as long as they register the details with the IS media office.

8. Journalists must not film IS security or military centres or their activities. 

9. IS media offices will follow up on the work of local journalists within IS territory and in the state media. "Any violation of the rules in place will lead to suspending the journalist from his work, and he will be held accountable," the rules read, ominously.

10. "These rules are not final and are subject to change at any time depending on the circumstances and the degree of cooperation between journalists, and their commitment to their brothers in the IS media office."

11. All journalists must apply for a license before working. 

Many journalists have left Deir Ezzor, but some have reportedly stayed and agreed to abide by these rules.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.