10 July 2005

Independent World Television

I found the following interesting post over at Ratboy's Anvil. I think this is something we should all take a look at and consider supporting.

This is a great idea; IWT an international television news network supported by viewer donations...kind of an international PBS with teeth which actually does its job without partisan, political or corporate interference.

What we think is, if you don't do it on TV, it doesn't break through. But if we break through with it on television, then it makes it much more difficult for the rest of the television media to simply ignore these stories.
What television is doing, and to some extent the big-media print press -- is they're treating propaganda as news. They're allowing political forces and corporate forces to create a façade of how the world looks. And they're reporting on the façade as if it's real. I liken it to professional wrestling, about which I made a film. Wrestling press can talk about wrestling theater as if it's something real, even though everybody knows it's theater. Well, the same thing's happening here. If you try to step outside that as a journalist, they call you partisan. -- Paul Jay, Creator of Independent World Television

The Problem

Serious news and full-spectrum debate -- on which democracy depends -- are disappearing from television. Across the globe, news media are concentrated in the hands of a few entertainment conglomerates whose interests determine news coverage. They promote superficial "infotainment" over tough investigation, context and holding authority accountable. Public broadcasters face shrinking budgets and growing political and commercial pressures.

The Solution

We need a news and current affairs network that defends the public interest and the highest standards of journalism. Independent World Television will be such a network, a non-profit broadcast service financed by viewers across the globe -- independent of corporate or government funding and commercial advertising.

The Launch Plan
The network is raising a $7 million start-up budget from individual donors and foundations. The MacArthur, Ford and Phoebe Haas Trust foundations and the Canadian Auto Workers Union have contributed to a planning study. In its next phase, IWTnews will build the online community necessary for an international mass fundraising campaign launching in early 2006. The campaign will use concerts and media events headlined by socially-conscious celebrities to drive the internet fundraising. If half a million people in the entire world contribute just $50, IWTnews will secure
the $25 million it needs to fund its first year of broadcasting, in 2007.


Eric_Jaffa said...

My objection to the concept is that IWT hasn't announced any limit on donations from the rich.

They say no corporate donations, which is fine.

But if they accept a million dollars from a CEO through his personal money, how is that better than accepting a million dollars from a corporation?

Diana said...

Unfortunately I have to say it will never work. Funding by individual donations is not sustainable. Fundraising itself is costly and people invariably only give when they are prompted to, which thus necessitates constant hyping and begging. There is good reason why PBS depends in large part on government appropriation of taxpayer funds.