Agence France-Presse (AFP) falls into a new trap with regard to its journalistic coverage in Syria even 187 years after it was founded. The least that can be said about it is that it lacks a sense of professionalism.
The agency published a news report that a “former jihadist stronghold” had been converted into a headquarters for a Chinese art production company in the Damascus neighborhood of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, and turned into a studio for the production of a movie for the world star Jackie Chan.
In its news report, AFP focused on the issue of turning the aforementioned stronghold into an “artistic” production studio.
This unfair reporting completely ignored the suffering of the residents who had been displaced and others exterminated by the Assad regime and its allies.
The coverage ignored the suffering of the people who had been living in this neighborhood for years and fled from it because of the repressive policies implemented by the Assad regime. It was not an inadvertence, but rather it was intended and its purpose behind it was not to indicate that this neighborhood was a stronghold of the revolution and the uprising against the tyrannical regime.
The agency never mentioned that the cause of the destruction in the neighborhood was the result of the bombing carried out by the Assad regime over the past years and caused the displacement of the population, but rather focused on the presence of armed groups by referring to the former stronghold.
It is clear that the agency lacks the moral or human sense with regard to publishing such a piece pf news as it increases the amount of media propaganda that the agency provides for the Assad regime.
People who are now more familiar with the twisted methods used by some media outlets that falsify pieces information and present them as facts can no longer be deceived by pretending to be professional and impartial during times of war.
For many years, the agency did not report the full picture of what happened to the population in terms of killing, organized displacement and asylum to neighboring countries, but it was always focused on the side that served the regime’s agenda and preserved its survival in Syria. The agency is still interested until today in publishing news from the Assad regime’s side, and perhaps its goal behind all of this is to maintain its presence on Syrian territory. The best way to achieve this end is to support the regime and polish its tarnished image.
Had the agency wanted to achieve some kind of balance and objectivity, it would have pointed out at least the suffering of some residents who paid and are still paying the heavy price because of the pain left by the war.
Today, AFP, being the world’s oldest news agency as it was founded in 1835, is required to abide by the ethical values of the media profession, and be objective with regard to its coverage of Syria-related news.