Job Vacancy: Media Researcher for the Observatory of Hate Speech and Incitement to Violence


Job Title: Media Researcher

Unit/Department: Media and Freedoms Unit

Type of Contract: Consultancy

Duration of Contract: Six months (Extendable)

Contract Fee: Experience-based

Location: Preferably Turkey

Start date: As soon as possible

Deadline for Applications: 28 March 2018

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) launched the “Observatory of Hate Speech and Incitement to Violence” in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the second half of 2017. This new cooperation between the two organizations is aimed at establishing a positive attitude towards reducing the use of hate speech in the local media and thus reducing its destructive impact on Syrian society as a new step towards achieving civil peace in the country and creating a democratic environment in which freedom of speech flourishes.

The “Observatory of Hate Speech and Incitement to Violence” seeks to build a broader partnership with local and international media and civil society organizations to build upon past experiences and endeavors in the implementation of this project. The program focuses on monitoring the content of the Syrian media, through a group of trained Syrian media monitors, to assess the use of hate speech and incitement, and raise awareness in the Syrian media community about the reasons for using this speech, its forms and consequences, and ways to deal with this issue. And establish tools and standards to limit its use.

The project encompasses two phases. The first phase which ended in December 2017 involved the preparation of the monitoring methodology, training of monitors on the methodology and the monitoring tools. The second phase requires monitoring and using the results to serve the development of the media work in Syria. During 1st phase, 24 monitors were trained on the curriculum, mechanism and tools and a pilot period was implemented. The second phase requires the hiring of selected monitors after the pilot phase to carry out the monitoring in accordance with the plan prepared for 2018. The second phase monitoring will be carried out on two different periods in 2018 with a time break of two weeks to two months, and for a limited period of time not exceeding two weeks per monitoring period.

SCM calls upon people with expertise and interest in overseeing the monitors, analysing and managing the data to review the following work requirements:

  • Fluency in Arabic (speaking and writing);
  • Full command of the Syrian dialect with its local variations;
  • Fluency in Kurdish (speaking and writing) is a plus;
  • Very good knowledge of Syrian media scene;
  • A master’s or PhD in research, sociology or relevant fields;
  • Experience in quantitative research, and a high ability to understand and analyze statistical and qualitative data (the candidate shall present a sample from one of his previous research papers);
  • Preferably experienced in media monitoring or content analysis;
  • Ability to coordinate with the Monitoring Team and follow up work under pressure.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Monitor and verify data collected by monitors;
  • Provide monitors with the recommendations necessary to improve their performance and follow them through digital means of communication continuously during the two monitoring rounds;
  • Update the monitoring methodology (guide) as needed during and after the monitoring;
  • Data analysis with the help of a specialized Data Analyst;
  • Participate in the development of the dictionary of vocabulary and expressions of hatred and incitement to violence;
  • Prepare tailored results-based reports (one each of the monitored media outlets);
  • Edit the report of the first phase of the monitoring and final report of the project;
  • Provide the members of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression with the necessary data to evaluate the project.

Interested candidates should email their CVs including contact details of two professional references and cover letter to [email protected] with the job title in the subject line.