On the Baghdad newsstand
: Radio Free Europe reports that reporting is coming back to Iraq:
…news services are beginning to come back to fill the information vacuum. More and more Iraqis say they are tuning into Iran-based Al-Alam (“The World”) TV, Qatar’s Al-Jazeera, or the U.S.-based Radio Sawa, which is transmitted by coalition forces from the Baghdad airport.
Baghdad has more than a half-dozen newspapers published by a range of political, ethnic and religious groups. Capital residents can choose between “Future,” published by the Iraqi National Accord; “Conference,” put out by the Iraqi National Congress; the Iraqi communists’ “Road to the People”; and the London-based “Al-Zaman” (“Times”). Some of the papers are distributed for free; others sell for between 250-750 dinars (approximately $0.07-$0.20).
The number of newspapers and other sources of news are increasing on a daily basis. But many Iraqis say they often leave a lot to be desired, in terms of content and quality. In particular, residents say they need better, more objective information about the unfolding developments in postwar Iraq. Some say they feel they are at the center of an ideological battle between the polarized pro-American and anti-American worlds.
I’m still hot on the idea of weblogs as part of this mix (and I’m writing an op-ed piece about that now).