Running for Cover: Politics, Justice & Media in the Syrian Conflict

Thursday, October 6, 2016, 9:00 am
Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse 3

Accountability in the Syrian conflict was the focus of a daylong event hosted by the Newhouse Center for Global Engagement in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University on Oct. 6, 2016.

The dialogue analyzed the international community’s response to the Syrian conflict and its effects, as well as the challenges to reporting the war, developing political solutions and seeking justice for victims. Participants also explored how the international community captures news and images from the conflict, investigates alleged war crimes and human rights violations and protects refugees. They also discussed lessons learned from this conflict that might inform the response to future conflicts. The interactive event was designed as a “fishbowl” conversation among academics, policy makers, human rights advocates, journalists and the audience.

Ken Harper, director of the Newhouse Center for Global Engagement, and Lorraine Branham, dean of the Newhouse School, offered opening remarks, and David Crane, founding director of the Syrian Accountability Project in the Syracuse University College of Law, gave the closing remarks.

Read and watch the event coverage>>

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Newhouse School Syracuse University

Featured Image
Refugees and migrants aboard a fishing boat piloted by smugglers reach the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey. (Antonio Masiello / Zuma Press with Permission from POYi)  Pictures of the Year International is a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism.

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Joe Quinn

#SUSyria - Anonymous social media instructions
One of the event goals is to engage participants remotely via social media, as many Syrian journalists and activists are unable to attend in person. Because of the conflict in the region, and the targeting of journalists, some may want to participate anonymously for greater personal security.

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Panels

The Geopolitical Situation in Syria

Panelists addressed the historical context of the conflict and offered a critique of the political, military and humanitarian responses of the international community, including an assessment of where we stand now.

Panel Video

Panelists

Lamis Abdelaaty

Lamis Abdelaaty

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Maxwell School

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Bassam al-Ahmad

Bassam al-Ahmad

Consultant, International Federation for Human Rights; Former Spokesperson, Violations Documentation Center in Syria

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William Banks

Founding Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University

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Mehrzad Boroujerdi

Chair, Political Science, Maxwell School

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Sherine Tadros

Representative and Head of New York (UN) Office, Amnesty International

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Accountability for Atrocity

This panel explored the various justice options available to the people of Syria and the surrounding region who are victims of the atrocities committed during the Syrian conflict, and the likelihood of those options being utilized by the international community.

Panel Video

Panelists

David Crane

David Crane

Founding Director, Syrian Accountability Project, Syracuse University College of Law

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Bill Wiley

Bill Wiley

Executive Director, Commission for International Justice and Accountability

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Radwan Ziadeh, panelist, Running for Cover: Politics, Justice & Media in the Syrian War.

Radwan Ziadeh

Senior Analyst, Arab Center Washington DC; Founder and Director, Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies

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The Media's Role

A once well-funded international press corps has been depleted to the point where accurate reporting on one of the most complex conflicts of the 21st century is almost impossible. This panel looked at how the conflict has been reported and how reportage can be improved.

Panel Video

Panelists

Hub Brown

Associate Dean for Research, Creativity, International Initiatives and Diversity, Newhouse School

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Roy Gutman

Roy Gutman

Freelance Journalist; Former Foreign Editor and Correspondent, McClatchy and Newsday

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Ned Parker

Ned Parker

Reuters enterprise reporter; Former Edward R. Murrow fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations

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Reza

Reza

Photojournalist, National Geographic; Founder, Ainaworld, Reza Visual Academy

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Sherine Tadros

Representative and Head of New York (UN) Office, Amnesty International

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Ben Taub

Ben Taub

Contributing Writer, newyorker.com

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Social Media in Reporting War

Social media has forever changed the way we report on and bear witness to conflict and atrocities. This panel explored the intersection of social justice and oppression. Is social media aiding transparency and accountability in Syria or is it a tool of oppression?

Panel Video

Panelists

Ammar Abdulhamid

Ammar Abdulhamid

Co-founder and President, Tharwa Foundation

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Andrew Beiter

Andrew Beiter

Education Director, I Am Syria

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Jennifer Grygiel

Jennifer Grygiel

Assistant Professor of Communications, Newhouse School

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Fadi Hussein

Fadi Hussein

Co-founder, IRT - Instant Reporting Team

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Next Steps

Now what? This panel discussed current and new initiatives from NGOs, media, governments and the academic community that address the complex challenges of the Syrian conflict, and outlined action items for moving forward.

Panel Video

Panelists

Andrew Beiter

Andrew Beiter

Education Director, I Am Syria

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David Crane

David Crane

Founding Director, Syrian Accountability Project, Syracuse University College of Law

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Roy Gutman

Roy Gutman

Freelance Journalist; Former Foreign Editor and Correspondent, McClatchy and Newsday

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Ken Harper

Director, Newhouse Center for Global Engagement, Newhouse School

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Elijah Shama

Elijah Shama

Student, Syracuse University; Founder, Reporters Without Borders Syracuse University Chapter

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Bill Wiley

Bill Wiley

Executive Director, Commission for International Justice and Accountability

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