Al Iraqiya Fails To Be 'Independent' News Source

The U.S. funded Iraqi Media Network was supposed to bring "independent" journalism to a "liberated" Iraq. The reality, however, is that IMN's Al Iraqiya radio and television station are failing, according to CorpWatch's Pratap Chatterjee. The stations, run by top CIA contractor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), seem almost irrelevant given the more popular satellite news channels Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya and the common criticism that "Al Iraqiya has no news. Just yesterday's information." Working under Coalition Provisional Authority guidelines, Al Iraqiya reporters are barred from reporting anything that might incited violence. Many who worked for SAIC on the IMN project blame the CPA for the network's failure. Veteran network news foreign correspondent Don North called Al Iraqiya 'Project Frustration' when he quit in July. "IMN has become an irrelevant mouthpiece for CPA propaganda, managed news and mediocre programs. I have trained journalists after the fall of tyrannies in Bosnia, Romania and Afghanistan. I don't blame the Iraqi journalists for the failure of IMN. Through a combination of incompetence and indifference, CPA has destroyed the fragile credibility of IMN," North wrote recently.