Atallah Bajbouj

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Bajbouj died almost a week after sustaining injuries to his head from mortar shell shrapnel, according to the Syrian Journalists Association and his media group, the Nabaa Media Foundation. Bajbouj was transferred to a hospital in Jordan for treatment but died on October 15, 2014, according to the reports.

At the time of his injury, Bajbouj was reporting on clashes between rebels and government forces in the Tariq Al-Sadd area in Daraa for the Nabaa Media Foundation, according to news reports. A Nabaa spokesman who spoke to CPJ confirmed the reports and said that Bajbouj was on official duty with the foundation at the time of the injury.

The Syrian Journalists Association said without citing its source that the mortar shell was launched from the “panorama fields,” which are under government control. CPJ could not independently verify the information.

Bajbouj was a founding member of the opposition-affiliated Nabaa Media Foundation, where he worked as a field reporter covering clashes in Daraa and surrounding areas, the Nabaa spokesman told CPJ. Bajbouj also posted videos of the clashes on his personal YouTube and Facebook pages under the name “Abou Daniel el-Hourani.”

The Nabaa Media Foundation was founded in May 2014 after various opposition media outlets from the region, most notably the Daraa Media Union and the Consolidated Media Assembly, were combined into one unified news outlet, according to the Nabaa spokesman. The foundation, which supports opposition forces against the government, covers breaking news and daily updates about clashes occurring in the southern part of Syria, as well as human rights, social issues, and military news. The foundation issues its coverage on Facebook and YouTube, which have thousands of views.

Other news organizations such as Shaam News and Alaan TV have republished videos of the Nabaa Media Foundation in their coverage of the region and have often used their members as sources for their reports.

The Nabaa spokesperson told CPJ that Bajbouj often contributed to local media outlets and was among the first people who covered the events in Daraa since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.