Who’s really covering Syria—and who’s funding them? Shaer meets the citizen journalists and upstart news organizations reporting on the civil war, and raises questions about what’s motivating their work:

“One of the reporters changed the channel on a nearby television to CNN. ‘Every Western media organization had an agenda,’ said Mohammed. ‘CNN is always talking about ISIS, Al Nusra, Islamists, Al Qaeda. But they never talk about humanitarian aid.’

“Earlier, when I had asked Mohammed what he wished to see in Syria, he had answered quickly: ‘A modern Islamic state.’ But when I pointed out that Nashet also had an agenda, the room grew hushed and tense. ‘CIA,’ a reporter sitting behind me whispered accusingly. Sami motioned me to leave. Outside, he remarked, ‘You can’t have that kind of place if you don’t have a backer with a big agenda.’”