In total, between 2013 and 2016, ASML/Syria printed and distributed more than 1 million copies of 17 publications and distributed them across Idlib, Aleppo and Damascus, through a total of 57 regular distribution points.
In mid-2012, ASML/Syria began directing part of its support towards newspapers and magazines. While there was no independent publication before 2011, we were able to identify 84 magazines and newspapers after we completed a mapping in 2012. This number continued to rapidly grow as Enab Baladi published a study in 2015 stating that 268 publications (newspapers and magazines) had been launched between March 2011 and early 2015. This number however, sharply decreased with only 35 publications being still active in 2017 (13%).
Many of these newspapers were failing to reach a domestic Syrian audience. With heavy challenges to printing and distribution in a war-torn region, most of these newspapers and magazines disseminate their content online and through small-scale printing (numbers in the hundreds) distributed across a couple of villages. Due to an internet blackout and electricity cut across the country, Syrians living inside the country’s borders have difficulty to access these publications
These newspapers and magazines do not have the financial or human resources, or the necessary nation-wide infrastructure, to ensure mass printing and large-scale distribution of their hard copies. To address this, ASML/Syria has developed along with SMART, its own print center and distribution channels inside Syria, offering free printing and distribution in northern and eastern Syria to a selected set of magazines and newspapers which mirror the rich diversity of the Syrian population.