Syrian state media honoured by Iran for 'objective' reporting on protests

Syrian state media honoured by Iran for 'objective' reporting on protests
Iran's Basij honored Syria's state media for its coverage of Iran's protests, rocking the country since September.
2 min read
03 January, 2023
SANA is largely seen as a regime propaganda outfit. [Getty]

Syria's state media outlet – SANA – has received an award from the Iranian government for its "objective" reporting on the country's protests which broke out in September 2022.

The Basij's media wing – a government militia – honoured SANA and five other media outlets on 1 January during a conference to create a media organisation to defend Qassem Solemaini's legacy.

Qassem Solemaini was the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who was assassinated by a US drone strike on 3 January 2020 in Iraq.

Other media outlets honoured included the Afghan Voice news agency, Yemen's al-Masirah and Lebanon's al-Mayadeen.

SANA is known for supporting the Assad regime's line on internal politics.

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It has attracted controversy for spreading conspiracy theories about the chemical attacks in Ghouta and for claiming the White Helmets are a part of al-Qaeda.

Some of SANA's more hard-hitting pieces include coverage of a youth art exhibition to celebrate Bashar al-Assad's 2021 election – widely considered a sham – warnings that Zionism would penetrate Arab societies through Masonic thought, and a piece about US military forces launching a hot air balloon to spy on Syria.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF), ranked Syria as 171st out of 180 countries in 2021 for press freedom.

According to the monitor, the regime "treats media as a tool for disseminating Baathist ideology and excludes any form of pluralism."

Journalists have regularly been arrested and tortured in Syria for coverage seen as critical of the regime and its policies.