Independent World Television News

I’m a pretty cynical guy, so it’s damn hard to get me excited about some pie-in-the-sky scheme to save the world. But Independent World Television News has got me excited. So excited, that I’ve actually put my money where my mouth is.

So if you believe that a free and democratic society cannot survive without a free and independent media, then I want you to go to the IWT News website, watch their introductory video, and make a tax deductible contribution. That’s what I did… and anybody who knows me, knows that I don’t part with my cash easily.

IWT News is a visionary effort to create the world’s first global independent news network, without funding from governments, corporations or commercial advertising. Taking advantage of a convergence of technological and social developments, this innovative, not-for-profit broadcast service is using the web to both organize, and raise the money needed to finance its programming, initially $25 million for its inaugural 2007 season. Distribution will be via satellite, cable and of course, the Internet, which over the coming decades will likely become a major television distribution medium, potentially breaking the content stranglehold of the broadcast monopolies.

Sound ambitious? Absolutely, but this is no fly-by-night fantasy of a handful of dewy-eyed progressive dreamers. IWT News is already raising its $7 million start-up budget from individual donors and foundations, including such heavyweights as the MacArthur, Ford and Phoebe Haas Trust foundations, as well as the Canadian Auto Workers Union. And it’s founding committee reads like a who’s who of luminaries, including Jeff Cohen, Amy Goodman, Naomi Klein, Lewis Lapham, Robert McChesney, Gore Vidal, Howard Zinn and many others.

Now I know that some of my righty readers are going to whine: “liberal media, blah, blah, blah”… “you already control the press, blah, blah, blah.” And to that sort of commentary I would just like to to calmly and succinctly reply: “Fuck you.”

If IWT News gets off the ground and on the air, it will be because hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens from around the world — possibly millions — believe so passionately in the need for a truly independent television news service, that they are willing to put their hard-earned cash into the dream. So if you on the right really believe there’s a need for a biased, right-wing propaganda network to “balance” things out, then go and create one. Oh wait, you already did… Fox News… only rather than going through the hassle and expense of a grassroots fundraising campaign, you just dipped into Rupert Murdoch’s deep pockets.

The indisputable fact is that broadcast television is controlled by a handful of media giants, and its content is dictated by the needs and whims of its corporate owners. In the US, only PBS has any sort of independence, and now the Republican hegemonists are in the process of taking over that too. Now more than ever we need a news network unbeholden to the powers that be. Our democracy and freedom depend on it.

So please, check out IWT News, and if you can at all afford it, make your contribution today.

Comments

  1. 1

    Chuck spews:

    “That’s what I did… and anybody who knows me, knows that I don’t part with my cash easily.”>>>

    If you are so frugal with the dollar why do you condone pissing tax dollars away like you do Goldy?

  2. 2

    spews:

    canadian auto workers union??? do you actually read what you type? yeah….this will be really “independant” alright.
    oh, brother………
    and chuck, people condone pissing away tax [or other] dollars this way when they aren’t earning much themselves.it doesn’t really affect them.

  3. 3

    Janet S spews:

    So, Goldy, you are supporting IWT because it is independent, but then you turn around and praise PBS? Doesn’t PBS take public (taxpayer) money?

    PBS should not receive a single penny of public funds. Until it severs this tie, it will always be the play toy of the government interests. The Democrats controlled it for a long time, and I guess you thought that was fine. Now the Republicans want their turn. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  4. 4

    dj spews:

    Chuck @ 1

    Pissing away tax dollars? Chuck, have you been locked up in a shack and cut off from the media for the last 4.5 years? The real pissing away of tax dollars is occurring as a result of the neocons carrying out the PNAC agenda.

    The fact is, the Republican party has been hijacked. These days, Democrats are the party of fiscal responsibility–they at least raise the money they spend.

    So, Chuck, clean up your own before you accuse liberals of fiscal irresponsibility. The PNACers are making traditional Republicans stink to high heaven.

  5. 5

    dj spews:

    Christmasghost @ 2

    What is the problem with start-up funding from the Canadian Auto Worker’s Union???

    I mean, do you think the status quo of having, say, McDonalds fund the media is somehow a better way to achieve an independent media?

  6. 6

    Donnageddon spews:

    Chuck and Xmasghost @ 1 & 2

    “pissing away tax dollars” unfortunately you both are living in the past. It is the NEO-CONs who are pissing away your children’s and grandchildren’s tax dollars and LIVES with their war-without-end, corporate welfare, destruction of the middle class dreams.

    The GOP has been taken over, and unless you repugs do something about it, we will.

  7. 7

    bluesky spews:

    Yah, and here is a sample of the interlock between the median and the rest of corporate amurka. This why we need independent media.

  8. 8

    Donnageddon spews:

    It is one of the biggest lies that somehow the MSM is “liberal”. Fortunately all the TROLLS on this board are wasting their typing skills posting that myth on HA.

    We know better.

  9. 10

    spews:

    dj and others……when you are being funded by a union of any kind “independant” is an oxymoron.
    and if you think that an ad for a burger joint is the same as being “funded” wow, have i got some swampland to sell you in death valley……

  10. 11

    Donnageddon spews:

    I have contributed to ITW. Goldy, you understand this has cut into my “beer money for Goldy” fund? You may have to stick to PBR for a couple of months.

    Xmas ghost @ 10 “if you think that an ad for a burger joint is the same as being “funded” ”

    Uh… you don’t work in the advertisemnet or broadcast medium, do you? Yeah, I didn’t think so, because this comment is about the STOOOPIDEST” thing I have read on HA’s that wasn’t written by Pudster or PacMAn.

  11. 12

    spews:

    no ,i don’t work in ads…..but i have worked with funding companies, and it’s completely different than with ads.
    as far as being stupid, well, you didn’t win any spelling bees did you?

  12. 13

    Donnageddon spews:

    Xmasghost, spelling bees? No. Now that that questin is ssettled, where do you think the coprorate media gets its funding, if not from advertizing?

    Think about it for a moment before you make a blunder for worse than a misspelling.

  13. 14

    dj spews:

    christmasghost,

    It is true that being funded by a Union is not truly independent. But, being funded by anyone is not “independent.” The point is establishing a TV news source that is independent of the sources (esp. big corporations) that currently fund the MSM. Getting funding from a union is a step away from the the MSM direction. We would probably agree with each other that, it would be ideal to not rely on union funding for the long run.

    But, for now, even if you like Fox, CNN, CBS, etc., isn’t it good to have alternative news sources?

  14. 16

    Janet S spews:

    All news, like history, has a point of view and a context. IWT will be no different. You can’t report everything. Good news reporting tells a story, and has a story teller. That, by definition, has a bias. There is absolutely nothing wrong – in fact, it is good. As long as the facts are correct, let the consumer decide what to believe.

    So, why all the blathering about media bias? And why are you all so scared of Fox News? At least your tax dollars aren’t supporting it, unlike NPR.

  15. 17

    Chuck spews:

    dj@4
    We had a 9.5 cent a gallon tax increase, the cost of a title transfer increased to $14.00, drivers licence renewals just went screaming through the roof, license reinstatement fees REALLY went madly through the roof, my property tax almost doubled (pierce county). I have gotten tax rebates from the IRS since the “neocons” have been in charge. Tell me again how the republicans are leading this tax increase?

  16. 18

    GeoCrackr spews:

    Chuck @17

    You just pegged the reason. By conning fiscally responsible like you by giving you a $300 income tax “rebate” while giving Cheney’s buddies multi-million dollar tax cuts, in addition to measures like transferring $80 billion per year to Dick Cheney’s oil, arms merchant and military base construction buddies, the radical right can claim poverty when it comes to renewing federal funding for state and state-administered programs — that is, the programs that help people like you and me instead of Cheney’s buddies. That means the states have to make up the revenue if they want to continue doing things like performing maintenance on schools, or repairing roads, or providing basic medical services for children and elderly people, or inspecting restaurants for cleanliness and safety. It’s the new American Dream, and it’s called transferring the tax base to the poor and middle class.

  17. 19

    headless lucy spews:

    “Evergreen Freedom Foundation” Funded by Wal-Mart and W. Scarfe Mellon. Anti union and anti education and they claim they’re independent. Piss off, righties!

  18. 21

    Mark spews:

    lucy goosey @ 19

    Too bad we can’t find a foundation that is Anti-drunken-PE-teacher-on-Mexican-steroids-rambling-aimlessly-on-blogs. THAT would be something to fund!

  19. 22

    Mark spews:

    Gel @ 18: “It’s the new American Dream, and it’s called transferring the tax base to the poor and middle class.”

    So, you’d be in favor of a flat tax with NO loopholes except for a child / dependent allowance?

  20. 23

    dj spews:

    Chuck @ 17

    We had a 9.5 cent a gallon tax increase, the cost of a title transfer increased to $14.00, drivers licence renewals just went screaming through the roof, license reinstatement fees REALLY went madly through the roof, my property tax almost doubled (pierce county). I have gotten tax rebates from the IRS since the “neocons” have been in charge. Tell me again how the republicans are leading this tax increase?

    Holy shit, Chuck, you have been living in a cave! The difference is this. The State of Washington has a balanced budget (and your total state tax burden is right smack in the middle of all state tax burdens).

    The Federal Government, however, is accruing MASSIVE debt, unlike anytime in our history (well. . . similar to what happened under Reagan and Bush Sr., but on a larger scale now).

    Every single day the U.S. goes in debt an additional $1.6 billion (yes, that is $1.6 billion per day). Or, put it this way: in the one minute that it takes you to read this post, the U.S. will accrue and additional $1.1 million of additional debt; and, it does so for every minute of every day.

    The total debt of the U.S. is now about $7.8 trillion dollars.

    The reason for your sweet federal refund is that the Bush administration has cut taxes but massively increased spending (relative to the Clinton years). In fact, Clinton (with congress) actually balanced the budget and paid off a chunk of the debt the last couple years of his second term.

    Compare that to last fiscal year, when the federal government spent $2.29 trillion dollars but only generated $1.88 trillion in revenues. This year (Oct to May), the government has so far spent $1.64 trillion but only brought in about $1.37 trillion of revenue (these numbers are from the U.S. Treasury web site: http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0505.txt).

    The lunacy of it all is stunning—simply mind-boggling. And, it is unnecessary. The government should increase revenue to match expenditures or else shrink government to match revenue.

    If I were you, Chuck, I would be really pissed off at the recklessness of Bush and company. They have turned their backs on a core Republican value.

  21. 24

    headless lucy spews:

    Too bad you don’t have anything more than ad-hominem attacks. You’re long on name calling and short on any rhyme or reason for your existence. I read an article in the paper today and it described the sort of brain damage people who cannot understand humor and sarcasm suffer from. You righties have all the symptoms. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but you’re not going to understand the sarcasm anyway, so no harm done….

  22. 25

    GeoCrackr spews:

    Chuck @22

    I’d like to think that I could answer that with a simple “no”, but the fact is your question bears no relation whatsoever to my previous post so I have no idea what you’re thinking.

  23. 26

    Mark spews:

    Goldy,

    And now a non-OT response to your post…

    I took a look at the website and the list of folks involved. As someone who believes that being liberal is “correct” as opposed to just being one point of view, I can see how you’d think those involved are going to be fair-minded. Unfortunately, the long list of participants reads as primarily Left to FAARR Left, with a bit of Center-Left thrown in for good PR and “credibility.”

    As has been posted in other threads, not even photos (or video) are without bias. Add in an editor’s and/or management’s personal feelings (or axe to grind) and you’re back to where you started.

    You have to understand that the reason the media is by-and-large liberally leaning is that people with that kind of background and those kinds of interests are the ones who go into journalism in the first place. I won’t go so far as to say there is a blatant bias or nefarious plot at every MSM outlet, but some folks are better than others at suppressing their personal biases — be they Left or Right.

  24. 27

    dj spews:

    Janet S @ 16

    At least your tax dollars aren’t supporting it, unlike NPR.

    This is incorrect. None of the NPR general operating expenditures are funded by federal subsidies.

    About 2% of NPR revenue comes from competitive federal grants (like NSF) but that money is awarded to produce specific products that the government wants (e.g. particular science programming projects). NPR could easily do without that revenue, but as long as there are open grant competitions, NPR has just as much a right to apply as any group. So talk to your congressional representatives and tell them to quit offering grants for science education, if that is what you want!

    In the mean time, knock off the bullshit about NPR operating off of federal subsidies.

  25. 28

    Mark spews:

    Lucy @ 24

    Just as one does not discuss particle physics with the family dog, talking about anything of substance with you is just as fruitful. I have long given up trying to engage you in discussion because you never answer a single question. Instead, you launch into some “Kill Rightie” blather. So, for a little self-amusement, I dropped down to your level. When you’re ready to join the folks at the adult table, start posting like an adult.

  26. 29

    zip spews:

    dj 27

    Give us a break dj.

    According to the WA Post:
    “The CPB funds…account for about 15 percent of the public broadcasting industry’s total revenue.”

    In the mean time, knock off the bullshit.

  27. 30

    dj spews:

    zip @ 29

    “According to the WA Post:
    “The CPB funds…account for about 15 percent of the public broadcasting industry’s total revenue.” In the mean time, knock off the bullshit.”

    Get your facts straight, jackass. NPR does not get any general subsidies through CPB. About 2% of their total revenue does come from competitative grants from government sources including CPB, NEA and NSF (I used NSF as an example above). So, CPB, NEA and NSF funding combined is about 2%, but these sources of funding are awarded through open competitions.

    The 15% figure mostly applies to PBS and other public broadcast media, but not NPR.

  28. 31

    zip spews:

    dj

    Federal funding of public broadcast is discussed here:
    http://blumenauer.house.gov/pu.....gfacts.pdf

    You’re arguing a technicality. Go back and look at the comment you first responded to. You used the typical lefty bullshit of jumping on one factoid (NPR funding) to try to debunk the point of her comment. Who gives a shit what the diff is betw NPR’s funding and public broadcasting’s funding? Pompous jackass.

  29. 32

    spews:

    As a republicans we need to pick our fights. I dont think we should make any waves about PBS. Just keep the budget small. We all know the donks cant compete in the arena of ideas. Give them NPR and Bill Moyers to keep them quite.. no one listens to it anyways (well maybe if your in public school your teacher may force you to listen). Just as long as there is no restriction of political speech the conservatives will be fine.

  30. 33

    dj spews:

    zip @ 31

    “You’re arguing a technicality. Go back and look at the comment you first responded to. You used the typical lefty bullshit of jumping on one factoid (NPR funding) to try to debunk the point of her comment.”

    No, I am not arguing a technicality. I quoted (@ 26) only the last sentence of Janet S’s post. I stated that she is factually incorrect. If she had said PBS instead of NPR, I would not have responded. In fact, I largely agree with the first paragraph of her post. That’s why I quoted the part I had quibbles with.

    “Who gives a shit what the diff is betw NPR’s funding and public broadcasting’s funding?”

    Ummmm. . . I do. And, if you don’t, that’s fine with me; but, I’ll not hesitate to correct you if you misstate the facts on something that I give a shit about. Deal with it.

    “Pompous jackass. “

    Yep. . . but it is hard not to be a pompous jackass with dipshits like you making posts like that @ 29.

  31. 34

    dj spews:

    Mark @ 26

    “You have to understand that the reason the media is by-and-large liberally leaning is that people with that kind of background and those kinds of interests are the ones who go into journalism in the first place. I won’t go so far as to say there is a blatant bias or nefarious plot at every MSM outlet, but some folks are better than others at suppressing their personal biases – be they Left or Right.”

    I agree with much of what you say here. But, I think and even stronger attribute of those who go into the media is that they are anti-establishment. It doesn’t matter what the political bent is of the establishment. Individuals in the media get rewards for the novel and for bringing down (or at least chipping away at) the mighty. These activities are inherently radical, so that the media often times gets associated with the political left.

    But, the crux of the issue is not about the individual reporters, it is the corporate end of the media. It is about what is acceptable and unacceptable to transmit from an outlet. There is a risk in some MSM sources that stories will be killed, reporters taken off of stories, or stories will be “cleansed” because otherwise they will be unacceptable to the editorial board, advertisers, shareholders, etc.

    For this reason, I feel our democracy is healthiest when there are multiple sources for news, with very different funding structures. Yes, I admit, Fox News does have a valid role, as does Pacifica Radio News.

  32. 36

    Janet S spews:

    Thanks, guys, for helping me out! I meant to say CPB, not NPR. It’s nice to know that there is so much great fact checking going on out there!

  33. 37

    Chuck spews:

    dj@23
    No I am pissed at the group that is literally and I mean literally killing me with taxes. I presently own a 3 bedroom rental, after taxes, costs and insurance I clear about $2000.00 per year. Property tax takes a $3700.00 bite…is that fair to you?

  34. 39

    GeoCrackr spews:

    Chuck @38: Oops — sorry, I meant Mark @22.

    Chuck @35: No, see, there’s a difference between saying they’re increasing funding for something, and actually decreasing funding when no one’s looking. So you either haven’t been paying attention for the last four years, or you’re lying deliberately to confuse people.

    dj @34: I think you’re mostly right. I would add that it doesn’t matter a whit what the personal inclinations of reporters are, because they’re not the decision-makers; it’s the editors and publishers whose opinions matter, and in the MSM they are decidedly corporatist, which usually translates into Republican (primarily Cheney’s old-school business conservative variety, but increasingly Delay’s new rabid radical crypto-fascist strain). Also, Fox may have a “valid role” in the media landscape, but it can in no way be considered a valid news source.

  35. 40

    Mark spews:

    Geo @ 25

    You talked about transferring the tax base to the poor (and away from the rich) and I asked if you’d be in favor of the best way to make sure EVERYONE pays their share — a flat tax with few or no deductions or exceptions.

  36. 41

    Mark spews:

    Geo @ 39

    C’mon… you’re not going to fall for the “we cut spending” line when, in fact, they simply cut the INCREASE in spending, are you? The real solution is rolling, zero-based budgeting.

    And as for your comment of: “I would add that it doesn’t matter a whit what the personal inclinations of reporters are, because they’re not the decision-makers…”

    The inclination of the reporters and photographers ABSOLUTELY matters. Especially in the case of visual reporting, the editor can only work with what the photographer/cameraman gives them. It is all about composition. In the case of people, you can make them look good or bad VERY easily. To compound the problem, the general public assumes that a picture is the ABSOLUTE truth when, in fact, it is just ONE perspective of the truth.

  37. 42

    GeoCrackr spews:

    Mark @40

    Again, no. That’s a ridiculous idea, and does not follow from what I’d said before.

  38. 44

    dj spews:

    Chuck @ 37

    “…is that fair to you?”

    I hear you. I was a landlord for about 3 years in the early 90s and I hated every minute of it. Big risks, minimal profit (at least that is how I felt), and one headache after another.

    Aren’t the property taxes a purely county tax in Washington (I am, frankly, not certain about this). In any case, my understanding is that one major reasons our property taxes and state taxes have gone up in recent years is because the federal government has reduced many subsidies to public education, transportation infrastructure, and social services.

    (If anyone can actually provide data on this, I would be most appreciative).

  39. 45

    Chuck spews:

    And yes, the funding under Bush has actually increased…as I say just not as much and it isnt a “throwing” of money, it comes with conditions that it will do good.

  40. 46

    GeoCrackr spews:

    Mark @ 41

    I see you haven’t been paying attention the last four years either.

    And I stand by what I said about reporters vs editors/publishers. It’s the editors who decide what stories get covered, choose the article titles and headlines, and have final say on what get emphasized in the article and which pictures get used and how they get cropped. And the publishers hire/fire/promote the editors and pass along advertisers “concerns” to ensure the “proper” stories get covered w/ the “proper” narrative.

    Bedtime for me, gang. Have fun building up your straw men and knocking them down.

  41. 48

    demonrat spews:

    Seek and support alternative sources of news and information, while you can. Independent World Television must be encouraged to move up their late 2006 initial broadcasting schedule. By then it may be too late for those of us who want a reliable source.

    The well has been tainted. Can you trust the water? It may not be poison yet but it soon will be with the likes of Ken Tomlinson overseeing CPB. The guy’s a propagandist, with a great track record, for God’s sake!

  42. 49

    Mark spews:

    demon @ 48: “By then it may be too late for those of us who want a reliable source.”

    Not at all! Just go to your local grocery store! Though you have to add water, it is usually 8 packets for a dollar and comes in flavors like Lemon-Lime, Tropical Punch, Cherry, Strawberry any many more! Drink to your heart’s content!

  43. 52

    spews:

    48

    The “Independent World Television News” is just a way to lose the “liberal” label. Liberals now call themselves progressive. In the end though its the same old drivel.