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IREX

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International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) is an international nonprofit organization providing leadership and innovative programs to improve the quality of education, strengthen independent media, and foster pluralistic civil society development. [1]

Founded in 1968, IREX has an annual portfolio of over $60 million and a staff of 500 professionals worldwide. IREX and its partner IREX Europe deliver cross-cutting programs and consulting expertise in more than 100 countries.

According to their website "IREX works with local partners to advance the professionalism and long-term economic sustainability of newspapers, radio, television, and Internet media. Specialized programs and small grants build skills for balanced, investigative reporting, better media management, and advocacy for press freedoms." [2]

Program areas include : • Journalism Training and Education • Media Strategy and Management • Business Development and Advertising • News and Public Affairs Production • Media Law Reform and Advocacy • Technology and Infrastructure Development

IREX's Pro-Media Program took over the role of the now defunct International Media Fund in 1995. Pro-Media have worked with the US law firm Covington and Burling "to analyze controversial Slovak media legislation and constitutional statutues, such as the May 1998 amendment to the Slovak election act that severely circumscribed political advertising and campaigning in the independent media." (Ballentine, 2002, p.109)

Projects

Iraqis Build Commercial Independent National News Agency: IREX is working as a subcontractor to America’s Development Foundation (ADF) on the USAID Iraq Civil Society and Media Support Program. [3]

"The authoritative, professional coverage supplied by the National Iraqi News Agency (NINA) will help Iraqi media outlets provide their audiences with impartial, accurate information. Owned and operated by Iraqi media professionals, NINA debuted at www.ninanews.com in conjunction with the Iraqi constitutional referendum on October 15." [4]

The NINA team, is backed by IREX through USAID’s Iraq Civil Society and Media Support Program. Also see Supporting Independent Media in Iraq.

Arrest in Georgia

According to a report from ITAR-TASS World Service on 17 April 2006, the former head of the Tbilisi-based office of IREX, Salome Mudzhiri (from 2003-2005), "and her husband, David Rogava, have been arrested in the Georgian capital on embezzlement charges.

"After an audit carried out by the American side revealed financial violations, the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stepped in.
"Once Mudzhiri’s guilt was confirmed, the FBI asked the Georgian Interior Ministry to detain her and her husband, who American investigators said was also involved in the 550,000 U.S. dollar fraud." (ITAR-TASS World Service, 2006)

IREX in Afghanistan

"IREX ceased financing of its mass media resource center in Jalal-Abad from August 1, 2005. Personnel of the Center are concerned on that the IREX has determined to transfer the technical equipment to other organizations.
"According to local journalists, it is quite hasty and unreasoned decision, which will bring to collapse of the mass media center. It is very hard to found an analogical center with technical equipment. In this connection, journalists of Jalal-Abad forwarded an address to the US Embassy and IREX Administration with request not to transfer the equipment of the center to other organizations, but leave it in the center, which will continue its activity under assistance of other donors." {The Times of Central Asia, 2005)

IREX in Belarus

IREX opened it first office in Belarus in 1997 and in 2003: "A spokesman for Belarus's security police, the KGB, on Monday accused the U.S. International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) of threatening Belarus's security. ...

"By its actions, the International Research & Exchanges Board is creating a threat to the security of Belarus, and not only in the information field," spokesman Alexander Bazanov told Interfax.
"He said the KGB had been analyzing IREX's activities for a long time as "no development in the information field can escape the attention of state authorities." (Interfax News Service, 2003)

Management

Details obtained from [5].

Directors 2006

Source

Directors 1999

Source

1999 Media Advisory Council

Source

Major Funders

Details obtained from 2004 Annual Report.

US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) US Department of State, Bureau of Human Rights, Democracy, and Labor (DRL) US Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) US Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Aff airs (NEA)

Donors

Source

Public and Private Supporters

Details obtained from 2004 Annual Report.

Related SourceWatch resources

Contact

2121 K Street NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20037
Tel: (202) 628-8188
Fax: (202) 628-8189
Email: irex AT irex.org
Web: http://www.irex.org/media/index.asp

External links