For News From Syrian Battleground, a Reliance on Social Media

By: Ben Sisario | The New York Times

When Secretary of State John Kerry delivered the United States’ report on Friday about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, he noted that “all hell broke loose in the social media” just 90 minutes after the alleged attack. As evidence of atrocities, the report cites thousands of social media updates and videos, along with reports from intelligence agencies, journalists and medical personnel.

Western journalists are struggling to cover what the world has so far seen largely through YouTube. But while some television news crews have been filing reports from Damascus, the dangers of reporters being killed or kidnapped there — as well as visa problems — have kept most journalists outside the country’s borders and heightened the need for third-party images.


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