GPD Charitable Trust: Strengthening Civil Society in Syria

Launched in 2013, Syria Direct is a non-profit journalism organization that produces timely, unbiased coverage of the war in Syria and its impacts on the country. Based in Jordan, the organization trains young Syrian and American citizen journalists in professional information-gathering and in-depth reporting, and publishes original news reports, interviews, photographs and videos from inside Syria.

By providing multi-year seed funding for this work, GPD Charitable Trust sought to strengthen civil society within the Syrian diaspora and eventually within Syria by building a corps of trained journalists who understand objective reporting and use it to fight government oppression. The conflict in Syria poses a challenge to journalists across the world whose coverage of the events often lacks historic, cultural, and religious context. As the struggle over Syria’s future continues, transparent, credible reporting on the conflict is critical in working toward a lasting peace. Syria Direct trains 12 aspiring Syrian journalists every six months. Their stories have been featured on USA Today, CNN.com, Radio Free Europe and other major international media outlets. Syria Direct recently launched an Arabic-language news website, extending the content’s readership and increasing the Syrian trainees’ likelihood for future professional success in the field.

GDP Charitable Trust made a five-year grant to Syria Direct in 2011 in the amount of $605,000 to support timely, credible coverage of issues in Syria by training a small group of Syrian and American citizen journalists in professional information-gathering and unbiased, in-depth reporting.

GPD Charitable Trust: Strengthening Civil Society in Syria

Mohammad al-Haj Ali