The Arab Digest has received the following declaration from Syrian journalists:
"After decades of media oppression, Syrian journalists inside Syria and in exile have gathered to announce the establishment of The Syrian Journalists Association (SJA). Syrian journalists have been working under an authoritarian regime since the Baath Party took power through a coup in 1963, and proceeded to rule the country under a state of emergency and martial law, suppressing freedom of expression and free access to information. We are inspired by our brothers’ stand against oppression, and express our intent to join them in solidarity against the regime. Thus, today, we announce the formation of The Syrian Journalists Association, working to bring civil reform to the media, both in press and broadcast journalism. We aim to undo the decades of decay in our industry caused by the Assad era, and to combat the biased role that the Syrian Journalists Union has been playing through its siding with the Syrian regime while it committed atrocities and crimes against its own people. The Syrian Journalists Association is a democratic and independent association. It is committed to the Syrian revolution’s goals and its calls for the freedom and dignity of the Syrian people, and moving towards building a democratic state that guarantees justice and equality to all Syrian citizens. The Syrian Journalists Association is a professional organization headquartered in Damascus. The SJA will also open chapters and branches anywhere in the world if ten or more from its members are gathered there to do so. Membership in the SJA will be open to all Syrian journalists and Palestinian journalists born in Syria working in print, broadcast and online journalism whether they live inside Syria or abroad. To join the SJA, journalists need to provide a letter from their media outlets or obtain the approval of three founding members of the SJA. The Syrian Journalists Association will undertake the task of developing the Syrian media sector, both private and state-owned, and promote press freedom by defending the rights of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. The SJA will also provide high level professional training and assistance to Syrian journalists who are in need of such services and will support them through all means possible. The Syrian Journalists Association embraces the diversity of Syrian society and will promote quality journalism among Syria’s diverse communities through providing equal opportunities to Syrian journalists from different ethnicities to write and reports news in their ethnic language such as Arabic, Kurdish, Assyrian, Turkmen, and others".