Head of US-funded newspaper quits

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by nycflasher, May 4, 2004.

  1. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    Anybody hear anything about this?

    BAGHDAD -- The head of a US-funded Iraqi newspaper quit and said yesterday he was taking almost his entire staff with him because of American interference in the publication.

    In a front-page editorial of the Al-Sabah newspaper, editor-in-chief Ismail Zayer said he and his staff were "celebrating the end of a nightmare we have suffered from for months. . . . We want independence. They [the Americans] refuse."

    Al-Sabah was set up by US officials with funding from the Pentagon soon after the fall of Saddam Hussein last year. Since its first issue in July, many Iraqis have considered it the mouthpiece of the US-led coalition, along with the US-funded TV station Al-Iraqiya.

    Zayer said that nearly the entire staff left the paper along with him and that they were launching a new paper called Al-Sabah Al-Jedid ("The New Morning"), which would begin publishing today.

    Zayer had sought to break Al-Sabah away from the Iraqi Media Network, which groups the paper, Al-Iraqiya, and a number of radio stations, and is run by Harris Inc., a Florida-based communications company that won a $96 million Pentagon contract in January to develop the media.

    "We informed [Zayer] that the paper would remain part of the IMN," said Tom Hausman of Harris' corporate communications. "He made the decision to resign." He said Al-Sabah would continue publishing today with a new staff.

    "We had a project to create a free media in Iraq," Zayer said of the founding of Al-Sabah. "They are trying to control us. We are being suffocated."

    source- AP
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Very interesting. Of course, I'm sure that a DoD-run newspaper in a war zone would be regulated, but I actually think this is a good thing - the Iraqis are demanding some of the freedoms of a democracy, namely a free press. Good luck to them.
     

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