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<nettime> IWTnews Website Launch: June 15, 2005
Soenke Zehle on Thu, 9 Jun 2005 03:17:34 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> IWTnews Website Launch: June 15, 2005

Didn't someone say way back when that television wouldn't be 
revolutionized? I have been wondering whether 'global' and 'independent' 
really go together that well, but it looks like the network is going to 
launch its first network, finally proving Chomsky right and return us to 
democracy, sz


IWTnews Website Launch: June 15, 2005

Independent World Television is building the world's first global 
independent news network. Online and on TV, IWTnews will deliver 
independent news and real debate -- without funding from governments, 
corporations or commercial advertising. Internet fundraising makes it 

The Problem

Serious news and full-spectrum debate—on which democracy depends—are 
disappearing from television. Across the globe, news media ownership is 
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 must change the economics of journalism.

We need a news and current affairs network which 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 its viewers across the globe, independent of corporate or 
government funding and commercial advertising.

Why Hasn't This Happened Before?

There were no means to directly engage people around the world to raise 
the funds. Now, the Internet allows millions to band together and raise 
capital to compete with corporate media outlets. Think of the 15 million 
people worldwide who demonstrated against war in Iraq on one day in 
2003. Think of the Internet fundraising successes of MoveOn.org and the 
Howard Dean presidential campaign (senior Dean fundraisers are 
organizing IWTnews' fundraising campaign).

Launch Plan

The network is raising a $7 million start-up budget from individual 
donors and foundations. MacArthur, Ford and Haas foundations have 
contributed to a planning study. In its next phase, IWTnews will launch 
its web site and build the online community necessary for the 
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.


To be seen on its own digital television channel and the web, IWTnews is 
also negotiating alliances with public and nonprofit channels to carry 
its programming. IWTnews will cover the big issues - war and peace, 
political campaigns, environment, global economy, civil rights, labor 
issues and social policy. IWTnews will hire journalists for their 
experience, political acumen and understanding of history. Complex 
issues will be addressed with energy, bite and wit. Citizen journalism 
will bring insight from people around the world. Informed by a 
commitment to social justice and respecting diversity of opinion, 
IWTnews will focus on news other media ignore or suppress and on 
individuals and groups who are transforming the world.

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