The group Spirit of America is taking donations to help the Marines set up some low-powered television stations in Iraq to get news and information out to Iraqi citizens from sources other than Al Jazeera. The stations will be owned by Iraqis.
By equipping local television stations and providing the ability to generate news and programming, the Marines will create a viable news alternative – one owned and operated by local Iraqi citizens.
The donated equipment will be the property of the Iraqi stations. The stations can create their own news and choose their own programming with the agreement that they will prohibit airing of anti-coalition messages that incite the local population. The stations also agree to sell airtime at a fair market price so that the Marines can communicate their information efficiently and quickly when needed.
For example, images were recently broadcast of a mosque in Fallujah damaged during fighting. With these stations the Marines could have provided the full picture by airing video of combatants firing on them from the mosque grounds. These stations would have enabled Iraqis to understand the complete picture. News of reconstruction projects and humanitarian assistance that balances the news of conflict will also be provided on these stations. The stations will be free to criticize the Coalition.
Why isn’t some of that $87 billion going to something like this? Still, I had a little scratch in my PayPal account from an eBay refund, so I donated it to the effort. It’s tax-deductible. (via The Command Post)