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On the Ground With Syria's News Smugglers: They go where professional journalists won't

Syria is now the most dangerous country in the worldfor reporters: According to the Doha Centre for Media Freedom, at least 114 journalists have died there since the spring of 2011, the News Republic reports. Among the dead are seasoned correspondents like the American Marie Colvin, who was killed in Homs in 2012, and freelancers like the Frenchman Olivier Voisin, who was wounded in February near Idlib and later died in Turkey. Meanwhile, 16 foreign journalists are officially missing.

In the absence of professionals on the ground, many outlets have been forced to lean heavily on the reports of untrained citizen journalists. The BBC regularly runs photos from activists, as do the Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times, and CNN. These outlets attempt to evaluate the accuracy of the reports—in Antakya, for instance, Al Jazeera correspondent Anita McNaught assesses amateur video recordings with two Arabic-speaking researchers—or else hedge their veracity.

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