I posted about this at Kos, so forgive me if you’ve read this, but I thought there would be many people here who didn’t read this who would find this important…  so I hope you dont mind a re-post.
I wanted to give a tip of the cap to the blog Accidental Deliberations, a member of our Progressive Bloggers group, for alerting us to this story.

This was one of the main stories found yesterday at The Tyee, which is an alternative new-media left-wing source based out of British Columbia, Canada:

Independent World Television will go public on June 15. The goal, as bold as it is big, is to create an alternative news and current affairs network that is, as its name implies, global in reach and free from corporate or government pressures. The network’s success depends on changing the economics of media, with an audacious plan to raise $25 million a year made up of $50 donations from half a million people around the world. Money from business, advertisers and government will be prohibited.

The creator of this is Paul Jay, who was a former excutive producer of CBC Newsworld’s debate program “CounterSpin”.

According to the article, IWTNews is aiming to get its own digital TV channels in Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere. Programming will also  be offered at their  web site. The article says that  Link TV will carry IWT programming. “ensuring that 25 million U.S. home will have access to IWT shows”.

Here’s one interesting statement in the article that really caught my eye:

…They would use the Internet — which allows millions of people to band together – to raise the money. Jay has brought on board key strategists from the Howard Dean presidential campaign who were astonishingly successful in raising millions of dollars in small amounts over the Internet.

The article doesnt really state if they are former or current strategists… but whoever they are, they want that expertise of fundraising over the internet to help them get started.

The article lists a pretty impressive list of who’s who on the advisory committee of IWT:

The 98-member IWT advisory committee reads like a who’s who of progressive left activism and journalism, especially from the US. The list includes Lewis Lapham of Harper’s Magazine, Gore Vidal, Jeff Cohen, Laura Flanders and Janine Jackson from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, and Janeane Garofalo of Air America.

Among the 35 Canadians on the committee are familiar names like Patrick Watson, Bill Roberts of Vision TV, Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis, Stephen Lewis and filmmaker Alan King. From other countries the advisory board contains people like investigative journalist Greg Palast, anti-nuclear armaments activist Helen Calidicott, and former U.K. Labour Minister Tony Benn.

And what of its plans? Fairly modest for the moment:

Sample programming consists of six hours of programs five days a week. These include one hour of citizen journalism from around the world, the evening news, an issue-focused debate show, a show in which journalists and experts analyze the day’s major stories, an investigative program, feature-length documentaries, a show on the global political economy, political satire, issues from the south, environmental issues and a show profiling how people have organized their campaigns.

If you want to look at its prospectus and think its worthy enough to donate to the cause, go to its main website here.

I was asked about who the Dean people (or former Dean people) are on this group.. Here are some from the website that I can find:

Paul Maslin (USA), pollster and strategist for “Dean for America”, internet-based fundraising consultant and pollster for IWTnews’s planning study.”

Nicco Mele (USA), Howard Dean’s campaign webmaster and internet strategist. Was webmaster at Common Cause and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Named one of America ‘s “best and brightest” by Esquire magazine in December 2003.

Stephanie Schriock (USA), National Finance Director for the Howard Dean Presidential Campaign, and previously served at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as Director of Campaign Assistance. She is lead consultant for IWTnews on fundraising issues

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