Axel Springer Academy launches podcast “ALYOM – Syria's children, the poison gas & us”




  • zoom+
  • zoom-

04.12.17

Axel Springer Academy launches podcast “ALYOM – Syria's children, the poison gas & us”

To press release overview

Listen to it on Spotify, Soundcloud or iTunes / Launch on 4 December 2017
© Axel Springer SE

“Alyom” is Arabic for “the day”. In this case, it refers to 4 April 2017: the day Syria's dictator Assad allowed poison gas to be released over the town of Khan Shaykhun. War against his own people; more than 80 people die horribly, among them many children. The news travels quickly around the world – and just as quickly it is forgotten. A team of young journalists from Berlin is not prepared to accept this. “We Germans in particular cannot look the other way when people are murdered with poison gas”, say the reporters of Team 22 of the Axel Springer Academy and are launching the podcast “ALYOM – Syria's children, the poison gas & us”.

In this they tell the story of 12-year-old Yusuff, who lost his father and 28 relatives in the attack. In seven elaborately produced episodes, they speak to Yusuff, the survivors from his family, to friends and neighbors and to people who know the background. In this way, they shed light on the fate of Syria's children through the story of a single boy.

One member of the team comes from the country himself. 28-year-old Mohammad Rabie fled from Syria in 2015. It is through him that the Academy's reporters come into contact with the people of Khan Shaykhun and with a reliable local representative who visits the family and records their story. Because they cannot travel to Syria themselves, the makers of the podcast use all of the available channels of communication. They are in constant contact with their protagonists via Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook.

“Podcasts are the boom genre in the ever-growing audio market. They also form part of the usage behavior of the generation that is difficult to reach with classical television and radio”, says Marc Thomas Spahl, Director of the Axel Springer Academy. “However our primary reason for choosing the podcast, was that video material from Syria is hard to come by and because audio is the most direct medium for conveying this story.”

The podcast is accompanied by numerous background articles on ALYOM.de and additional reporting on social media. It also deals with the role of Germany, its historical responsibility and the indirect participation of German companies in the production of poison gas in Syria. “We want to show why the barbaric crimes in Syria concern us all”, say the reporters of ALYOM. Which is why their motto is, “Listen in instead of looking away.”

“ALYOM – Syria's children, the poison gas & us” is available on all relevant audio platforms: Spotify, Soundcloud and iTunes, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The titles of the individual programs:

  1. Yusuff's Poisoned Childhood
  2. Yusuff and the Gas
  3. The Saviors of Khan Shaykhun
  4. Tough Interests
  5. A Promising Future
  6. The Helplessness of the Others
  7. Yusuff's Mission

About the Axel Springer Academy

The Axel Springer Academy is considered to be the most progressive school of journalism in the German-speaking world. Every year it offers up to 40 young talented individuals the opportunity to learn cross-media journalism from scratch. The Academy, which is also a publisher's think tank, has won numerous awards for its digital projects, including the Henri Nannen Prize, the Grimme Online Award and the World Association of Newspapers’ European Media Award. More information is available at: www.axel-springer-akademie.de

Press contact:
Friedrich Kabler

Tel: +49 30 2591 77625