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INTERNATIONAL > Controversy surrounds CNN footage from Syrian activist

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Destroyed vehicles and buildings are seen after shelling by Syrian military forces in the Inshaat neighborhood of the restive city of Homs, on March 5, 2012. AFP Photo

Destroyed vehicles and buildings are seen after shelling by Syrian military forces in the Inshaat neighborhood of the restive city of Homs, on March 5, 2012. AFP Photo

Video footage broadcast by CNN purporting to depict Syrian government violence was staged by the journalist reporting on camera, recent reports have claimed.
 
Danny Dayem, a Syrian-British journalist, has become a controversial figure since a Syrian TV station released footage taken minutes before he went live on CNN in which he allegedly tells unseen people around him to start firing.
 
Dayem, 23, is a known activist and has been outspoken on his intention to join the Syrian dissidents. He is part of a range of sources that international media outlets, such as CNN and the BBC, depend on for reporting from Syria because the government has made it difficult for foreign journalists to enter the city of Homs and other conflict areas.
 
The footage in question shows Dayem reporting in a relatively calm area until shooting begins, allegedly on his command.
 
Writing on Twitter, Dayem immediately denied the veracity of the Syrian station’s footage, claiming that it was the work of the government.
 
The reporter has also been hosted by Anderson Cooper on CNN to respond to the allegations.
 
"I was online for 20 minutes, so it's a live broadcast," Dayem said of the footage. "I don't know how they got [the footage]. This is all private. This has all been deleted."
 
Cooper again showed footage of Dayem allegedly telling them "to shoot it like I'm telling it."
 
Dayem also denied receiving any money from CNN.
 
"I have not received a penny from CNN, and I'm not a CNN journalist," Dayem said on the show.

March/09/2012

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