War has made Syria’s media slicker and more responsive but the message is still selective

As the country falls apart, normal life continues on Syrian state TV

The World Today Published 31 July 2015 Updated 14 December 2020 3 minute READ

Jim Muir

Former Middle East correspondent, BBC

One day recently, well over four years into the Syria war, government forces were trying to fend off rebel and Islamic State attacks in Aleppo, Deraa, Hasakeh and elsewhere, while simultaneously unleashing an offensive with their Hezbollah allies on rebel-held Zabadani near the Lebanese border.

A bright red URGENT suddenly flashed at the top of the homepage of the official Syrian state news agency SANA and on the TV screens. The momentous news was an announcement from the Ministry of Education that 68.8 per cent of pupils had passed in the first round of their secondary school certificate exams.

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