Independent World Television is building the worldâ€™s first global independent news networkâ€”without funding from governments, corporations or commercial advertisingâ€”to deliver independent news and real debate from professional and citizen journalists.
Serious news and full-spectrum debate — on which democracy depends — are disappearing from television. Across the globe, news media are 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.
We need a news and current affairs network that 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 viewers across the globe — independent of corporate or government funding and commercial advertising.
Before, there were no means to directly raise funds from people around the world. Now, the web allows millions to band together and raise capital to compete with corporate media outlets. Think of the 15 million people 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. Members of the Dean fundraising operation are already on board.
The Launch Plan
The network is raising a $7 million start-up budget from individual donors and foundations. The MacArthur, Ford and Phoebe Haas Trust foundations and the Canadian Auto Workers Union have contributed to a planning study. In its next phase, IWTnews will build the online community necessary for an 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 satellite, digital TV 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 that are transforming the world.
News Service: Independent World Television