Many left, but those remaining are now having to adhere to ISIS rules for reporting.
According to Amer, one journalist who stayed behind.
"A meeting was held between independent journalists and the ISIS media staff to state how [journalistic] work will be conducted after ISIS gained control of the Deir Ezzor governorate."
There are 11 non-negotiable rules they must follow:
1 - Correspondents must swear allegiance to the Caliph [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi ... they are subjects of the Islamic State and, as subjects, they are obliged to swear loyalty to their imam.Those who agreed signed a contract agreeing to the rules. Those who didn't, got the hell out of dodge, though that wasn't so easy.
2 - Their work will be under the exclusive supervision of the [ISIS] media offices.
3 - Journalists can work directly with international news agencies (such as Reuters, AFP and AP), but they are to avoid all international and local satellite TV channels. They are forbidden to provide any exclusive material or have any contact (sound or image) with them in any capacity.
4 - Journalists are forbidden to work in any way with the TV channels placed on the blacklist of channels that fight against Islamic countries (such as Al-Arabiya, Al Jazeera and Orient). Violators will be held accountable.
5 - Journalists are allowed to cover events in the governorate with either written or still images without having to refer back to the [ISIS] media office. All published pieces and photos must carry the journalist’s and photographer’s names.
6 - Journalists are not allowed to publish any reportage (print or broadcast) without referring to the [ISIS] media office first.
7 - Journalists may have their own social media accounts and blogs to disseminate news and pictures. However, the ISIS media office must have the addresses and name handles of these accounts and pages.
8 - Journalists must abide by the regulations when taking photos within [ISIS territory] and avoid filming locations or security events where taking pictures is prohibited.
9 - ISIS media offices will follow up on the work of local journalists within [ISIS territory] and in the state media. Any violation of the rules in place will lead to suspending the journalist from his work, and he will be held accountable.
10 - The rules are not final and are subject to change at any time depending on the circumstances and the degree of cooperation between journalists and their commitment to their brothers in the ISIS media offices.
11 - Journalists are given a license to practice their work after submitting a license request at the [ISIS] media office.
Maher, a media activist, wrote on Facebook that leaving the governorate was very difficult because [ISIS] kept sending him messages, which fluctuated between intimidation and offering incentives to return. Some were threats of crucifixion or to arrest members of his family.
"The harassment of activists aims to push them to stop reporting on the repressive rule that [ISIS] is trying to impose in its areas," he said. "Because activists were exposing these practices, it quickly made them the number one enemy of ISIS, which tried to shut them down at any cost, similar to what the Assad regime did at the beginning of the revolution. It had focused on shutting them down because of the kind of work they do that exposes the crimes [Assad] committed against the Syrian people."
Maher wasn't thrilled living under the Bashar Al Assad regime either, but under an ISIS rulership, it would be much worse.
"The regime was arrested, imprisoned and tortured many in its prisons, many of whom died as a result. It was common for an activist to be detained once or twice, and then released from prison for several months."
"However, in the case of ISIS, activists are considered infidels and are sentenced to death, crucifixion and more, simply because they oppose ISIS policies. The charge [against me] was ready and so was the punishment. To make matters worse, ISIS threatened to arrest members of my family to stop me from exposing their practices on the internet.”More here.