From Radio Free Europe:
If you want a good example of the power of citizen journalism, then look no further than the Deir Press Network (DPN).
Started one year ago in the eastern Syrian town of Deir el-Zour, DPN was the brainchild of a doctor and his cousin who lived in the United Kingdom. In afascinating interview in “Guernica” magazine, the two founders, Kareem and Ahmed (not their real names), discuss how they smuggled out footage and fought off cyberattacks from the pro-regime Syrian Electronic Army.
DPN doesn’t have any pretenses to be an independent, nonpartisan news organization. They are a group of activists allied with the opposition dedicated to recording atrocities by the regime. To that end, their videos have spread on social networks and are making it onto the major TV networks — they have undoubtedly driven much of the international policy discussion on Syria.
Often filmed behind fences or twitching curtains, it’s clear what huge personal risks were taken in gathering the footage. As Ahmed says, “The problem was that when the army entered towns like Dier el-Zour, filming any citizens getting killed was very dangerous, and yet DPN was carrying all of these videos. ”
“Carrying a camera was a death sentence.”