The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) was created in 1965 with the purpose of writing and distributing news, reports, photographs and commentary. Its board of directors is chaired by the Minister of Information or his deputy and the other board members are the director of SANA, the under-secretary of the Ministry of Information, the director-general of Al-Wahda (Organisation for Printing, Publishing and Distribution), the director of the Armed Forces’ Public Affairs Directorate for Moral Guidance and an “expert in the media.” SANA maintains offices in over a dozen countries and employs hundreds of staffers. It supplies news copy to the newspapers, as well as to Syrian Arab Radio and Television.
Al-Wikala al-hurra li’l-anba’ (Free News Agency) was founded by journalist Jamil Salou and is inspired to the principle of freedom of opinion and expression. SMART News Agency, which is based in Turkey, is an opposition-oriented agency launched in August 2013. It offers various news media (text, photographs, videos) in Arabic. This project was implemented by the French operator in media cooperation (CFI) and funded by the EU.
In 2017, the Wikalat al-Iba’ al-Ikhbariyya (Iba’ News Agency) was launched. The agency follows in the footsteps of IS’s Amaq, reporting Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)’s military operations and propaganda, despite not being officially linked to the group.
In the Kurdish context, Hawar News Agency (ANHA) is an online Kurdish news service based in al-Hasaka, in the far northeastern corner of Syria and lined up with the PYD. Its website is available in Arabic, English, Kurdish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish. In 2013 another agency was established and gained great popularity Ajansa Rojnamevaniya Azad (Independent Press Agency - ARA News), but it closed in late 2017.