Thursday, September 01, 2005

An alternative to international corporate TV

In June in the United States a diverse group (mostly identified with the left) led by the documentary maker, Paul Jay (Return to Kandahar) set up Independent World Television (IWT). The plan is to build a “news and current affairs network that defends the public interest and the highest standards of journalism. …a non-profit broadcast service financed by viewers across the globe -- independent of corporate or government funding and commercial advertising.”

IWT hopes to finance the first year’s programming in 2007 by asking half a million internet users to donate $50 each. IWT

In order to be seen on satellite, digital TV and the web, “ IWTnews is 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”

IWT is firstly directed at North America, but hopes to be a truly international service. In its first month the website attracted 80,000 visitors, over 3,000 members of its on-line community and over 600 on-line donors.