Broadcasting (♥)

The Directorate-General of Radio and Television of the Ministry of Information is the administrative body that governs radio and television broadcasting.(1) Radio broadcasts (since 1945) arc mainly in Arabic but also in English, French, Turkish, Russian, Hebrew, and German. Almost every home receives radio broadcasts. There are 3 state-owned radio stations. The country’s first private radio station, Al-Madina FM, was launched in 2005. There are 13 private commercial radio stations. The scope of these stations is restricted to entertainment programmes and music; only the government media can broadcast politics and news. The Syrian Television Service (1960) reaches a large audience throughout the country. There are 5 state-owned TV stations. Television broadcasting includes news and sports, cultural programmes, music and drama, as well as educational programmes. Some Syrian TV and Radio stations can be watched or listened at on the internet.

Satellite dishes are becoming common, allowing Syrians access to a broad selection of Middle Eastern and European programmes. There are 4 private satellite channels. Because the Publication Act does not allow for private satellite channels, their licenses are limited to the free zones where they are temporarily allowed to broadcast.

The Ministry of Information financially supports the production of TV dramas, produced by the official state TV or the private sector, in addition to participation in international competitions, and cultural debate by producing drama shows for prominent Syrian writers and intellectuals. In 2009 the government Drama Channel was established (one of the 5 channels) to empower the drama industry. The private production of TV dramas is considered to be the only cultural industry, due to the profitable economic dimension of this sector. Apart from the visual arts, this is the only cultural domain in which the private sector plays a larger role than the public sector.

The TV Production Directorate is responsible for drawing up general policies and legislation on the work of the private sector and sub-committees for auditing programme budgets. Licenses for broadcasting stations are granted under a resolution issued by the Prime Minister, based on a proposal by the Minister of Information.

Press (♥)

There are 8 state-owned daily newspapers and 3 newspapers published by public universities, 19 monthly newspapers by the ministries (including the cultural newspaper Shurufat), 21 by institutions and state-owned companies and 21 by syndicates and professional unions. The political parties produce newspapers as well.

The private press, such as daily newspapers, produced in the free zone in Damascus, is subject to the laws applied to foreign newspapers. Moreover, there is a large number of monthly and bi-monthly magazines. The publishing of newspapers or periodicals requires a license that is granted under a Resolution passed by the Prime Minister, based on a proposal presented by the Minister of Culture. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) is the official, state-run news bureau.

Social Media (♣)

Since the start of Syria’s uprising in March 2011, the media, especially social media networks, have played a crucial role in the country. What started as peaceful demonstrations with hopes for democratic reform has shifted to a vicious war with various groups fighting each other (also read The Role of Social Media in the Syrian Civil War).

Although the aim (of this Wiki page) is to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Syrian media, the media scene is changing rapidly in Syria due to the ongoing crisis in the country. This has created a situation in which assessing the media in Syria extremely difficult and challenging. Therefore this site is designed as an open platform and registered users will be able to update and edit its contents.

The Syrian Media Wiki extensively lists both Media under the regime’s influence and Media under opposition influence (TV stations, Radio stations, Newspapers, Online media).

For more on Syrian Media see at


  1. Radio broadcasting is regulated by Legislative Decree No 10 (2002).


(♣) From: View Source for Syrian Media Wiki

[♥] From: Syria by Reem Al Khatib and Rana Yazaji published in ‘Cultural Policies in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia. An introduction’, Cultural Resource/European Cultural Foundation, Bookmanstudies, 2010, 193-195.