Voices and Faces Of Freedom On The Air In Iraq

Bet you didn't, and won't, see this story, written by Spc. Amanda Morrissey for the official website of the Coalition forces:

The voices and the faces of freedom are making their way onto the airwaves in the Diyala Province for the first time since coalition forces arrived in 2003.

The Independence Radio and Television news station, an Iraqi broadcast station in Burhiz, began broadcasting television and radio programs Sept. 22. The station hopes to help build a media infrastructure ran by and for the local public.

“I really do believe that (freedom of the press) is the key to a peaceful, democratic Iraq. I think they’re off to a good start here in Diyala,” said Maj. Mike Humphreys, public affairs officer for Fort Carson’s 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning.

How soon till the Defeatocrats screech for Air America type programming on the station? Of course, that is assuming that they even ever know about the station.

The challenges facing IRT come from many different fronts. One obstacle is the separation of media from government controls. The concept of freedom of press is a new one to many of the journalists working at IRT, said Humphreys.

IRT currently airs three hours of television and seven hours of radio programming, according to Humphreys. The television station uses programming from other Iraqi stations. It currently broadcasts previously-aired entertainment shows as well as new test programs, many of which center around political issues affecting the local population.

The radio side of the house broadcasts four hours of programming in the morning and three hours in the evening. It plays popular music and entertainment shows, as well as daily news shows and talk radio in the morning.

Eventually, the station plans to air 24 hours of its own radio and television programs, said Humphreys. The radio programming is progressing at a much quicker pace than television, but there is no set timeline for getting both operations up and running around the clock, he said.

Good democratic (not the Party) principles: freedom of speech and the press, separate the station from the government, and let them do their thing.

Way to go, Coalition folks and Iraqi's!

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