Internews

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Internews, formed in 1982 as Internews Network, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in 1986 in California. In 2004, 80 percent of their budget came from the U.S. government[1]. Internews Network is a member of Internews International, an association of over 30 non-governmental media organizations.[2]

Historical Events

"August 1982. The first Internews project, funded by the Kendall Foundation, is to compile archives of films, TV shows, and documentaries about nuclear war, for use by independent producers and networks." [3]

In 1994 "Internews launches the three-year Media Development Program to support the institutional and economic development of print and broadcast media in Russia. MDP grants support the first legal resource center for media in Russia and the formation of the National Association of Teleradio Broadcasters (NAT), the first nationwide professional association for the broadcast industry in Russia.

"With Sarajevo under siege by the Yugoslav National Army, Internews and the Soros Foundation run the Balkan Media Network, an early version of an electronic bulletin board and email system that connects 250 independent media organizations as well as ordinary citizens in the former Yugoslavia with the rest of the world." [4]

In August 2000 "The American Iranian Council and Internews sponsor a historic reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City where members of the Iranian parliament meet with Members of the US Congress for the first time since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Internews had previously co-sponsored a documentary film week in Tehran and produced three US-Iranian spacebridges." [5]

In December 2004 "Independent media help lay the groundwork for Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, one of several "color revolutions" in the region, including Georgia’s 2003 Rose Revolution and the Kyrgyz Republic’s 2005 Tulip Revolution." [6]

In October 2005 "The Global Forum for Media Development, organized by Internews and 17 other organizations, meets in Amman, Jordan, uniting hundreds of media support NGOs, journalists, broadcasters and activists from 97 countries. GFMD activities continue into 2007." [7]

In September 2006 "Internews participates in the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, where Internews’ commitment to establish a Humanitarian Media Assistance Program is highlighted." [8]

On June 3, 2008, Internews organized a media event with the USIP. [9] [10]

About

According to the Internews website:

Internews works to improve access to information for people around the world by fostering independent media and promoting open communications policies. Internews' programs are built on the conviction that providing people with access to vibrant, diverse news and information empowers them to make their voices heard and to participate effectively in their communities.
Internews was founded in 1982 by David Hoffman, Kim Spencer and Evelyn Messinger with the goal of using media to alleviate Cold War tensions between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union . (Kim Spencer has since become President of Link TV [see below] and Evelyn Messinger heads Internews Interactive [see below].) Internews' first project was organizing "spacebridges" – video conferences linking American and Soviet studio audiences.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, independent TV began to emerge in the former Soviet Union and Internews began its work training media professionals, producing local radio and television news, and advocating for fair media laws and policies. In the past decade, Internews has also been working for an open and democratic Internet and liberalized telecommunications laws, and it has developed special programs for training journalists how to cover HIV/AIDS effectively (Local Voices), and how to report on conflict (Reporting for Peace ["a special training programme for journalists who work in regions of conflict"][4]). Meanwhile, Internews has expanded its activities into Africa, Asia and the Middle East. [11]

Funding

In 2004, the Internews budget was $27 million, 80 percent of which came from the U.S. government, Dale Keiger wrote in the June 2005 issue of John Hopkins Magazine:

"Hoffman insists that Internews turns down money from any source if it carries a requirement to promote an American geo-political agenda..."

Jeremy Baker wrote in the January 9, 2004, issue of USA Media Monitors that

"Roughly 20% of Internews funding comes from a broad range of standard philanthropic outfits... Among these are the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Kellogg Foundation, the John D. and Katherine T. Macarthur Foundation and others. Just the kind of donors you’d expect for such an idealistic endeavor. George Soros has also fed the kitty and is one of Internews’ most ardent supporters. But as we go on down the list we notice other interesting entries, ones we don’t typically equate with such egalitarian concerns." Among these are AOL Time Warner, General Electric, the Ford Foundation, Microsoft and the Rockefeller Foundation.
"Also appearing on this lngthy support list of anti-government-media-control mavens are a swarthy gaggle of government agencies from all over the world, including France, Russia, Germany, Austria, Canada, Britain, Sweden and Greece. But the long list of U.S. governmental agencies is hard to miss as well. Unesco, the U.S. Information Agency, the U.S. Office of Transition Initiatives (part of the U.S. Agency for International Development, a major Internews funder) are but a few."
"In the 1990s, Internews began to attract serious money. George Soros and his Open Society Institute became supporters, as did, eventually, the Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and dozens of others. USAID had made the large grant to establish the Russian independent television network. Evelyn Messinger secured a large sum from the National Endowment for Democracy to study independent media in Eastern Europe. Internews secured $8 million to set up a media center, a news agency, and broadcast and print outlets in Ukraine."

From 1990 through 1995, Internews received 3 grants totalling $249,700 from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which represented approximately 0.9% of our budget over that period. We have not received funding from the NED since 1995.

In 1995, Wired Magazine noted that: "The organization's peculiar funding cycle follows a flow chart that might raise a few eyebrows among current American nonprofits toiling hard for a few tax dollars. Although born and bred a nonprofit, Internews funds for-profit TV enterprises half a world away, thanks to multimillion-dollar contracts from the Agency for International Development, effectively the US government's foreign aid bank. Along with this generous funding comes grants from more than a dozen foundations, including one handsomely endowed by financier-philanthropist George Soros. Over the last few years, no other nonprofit, developing, post-Soviet media organization has garnered more American aid dollars than Internews." [12]

Partners & Projects

Internews Europe

  • Activities: "Within the framework of the European Commission's program Asia IT&C (EuropeAid), Internews Europe has been selected for its Internet regulation project in Indonesia and in Vietnam."

Internews International

  • Website: www.internews.tv
  • "Based in Paris, France, the organization is composed of 30 non-governmental media organizations working together to support freedom of expression around the world, and has been in operational relations with UNESCO since June of 2002."
  • Affiliated Partners

Internews Interactive

  • Website: http://www.citizenschannel.org/
  • "Internews Interactive (InterAct) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1997, created to develop interactive citizen dialogue by making interactive, informative and educational programming that engages citizens in addressing community and national problems. Their innovative use of new tools for television and the Internet, broadcasting and cable, helps people overcome geographic, economic and cultural limitations." [6]

LinkTV

The two pillars of American democracy - free enterprise and free media

Internews president David Hoffman summed up his aims in the June 24, 2005, Washington Times article "Winning the war of ideas; Washington should back private broadcasting" he co-wrote with Helle Dale:

"How do we win the war of ideas? Resist the temptation to control the message. Depend instead on two pillars of American democracy - free enterprise and free media. The federal government should support the role of private enterprise in meeting the challenge. Private enterprise is better equipped to win hearts and minds than anything that governments produce. While there may still be a need for U.S. broadcasting for strategic reasons, the bulk of public funding should go towards local, private broadcasters. Use our traditional diplomatic muscle to encourage and support legal reforms in the Muslim world, which are moving these societies out of the darkness of anti-Western and anti-Semitic scapegoating into the modern world of global communications. Let the marketplace take it from there."

For Example:

  • $750,000 over three years "For operating support, expansion of the Global Internet Policy Initiative and to establish a free press initiative in the Middle East." March 11, 2003
  • $500,000 for one year "To rebuild radio journalism in northwest Indonesia in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami." March 2, 2005
  • "The Health Journalism Partnership pilot phase is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Open Society Institute." December 1, 2005
  • Markle Foundation: "In this project Markle assisted Internews Network, Inc., in developing a license application and strategy for an innovative, interactive 24-hour live channel dedicated to quality, international affairs programming on two major Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) systems." July 1999
  • The Paul Klebnikov Fund: Internews Broadcast Scholarships

Directors and Staff: 2012

Directors
Chris Boskin Co-chair Board of Directors Corporation for Public Broadcasting Simone Otus Coxe Co-chair Board of Directors World Affairs Council
Douglas Carlston CEO, Tawala Systems Matt Chanoff Chief Economist, Technology Forecasters, Inc. Lorne Craner President, International Republican Institute
David Hoffman President Emeritus/Founder, Internews Jillian Manus President, Manus Media & Literary Agency Monique Maddy Founder and CEO, EZUZA
Maureen Orth Journalist, Author and Special Correspondent Vanity Fair James H. Rosenfield, Sr. President, JHR & Associates Sanford Socolow Vice Chair Exec. Producer, Cronkite Productions, Inc.
Cristiana Falcone Sorrell Senior Advisor to the Chairman World Economic Forum USA Inc. John Walsh Exec. VP & Exec. Editor, ESPN, Inc.
Officers
Jeanne Bourgault President and CEO, Internews David Creekmore Chief Operating Officer, Internews Marjorie Rouse Senior VP for Programs, Internews
Key Staff
Andrea Bosch Vice President for Asia and Environment Jeanne Bourgault President and CEO David Creekmore COO
Jamal Dajani Vice President for Middle East and North Africa/ Latin America and the Caribbean Deborah Ensor Vice President, Africa, Health and Humanitarian Media Programs Erica Feldkamp Vice President of Admin.
Mark Frohardt Exececutive Director, Internews Center for Innovation and Learning David Hoffman President Emeritus/Founder, Internews Josh Machleder Vice President for Europe and Eurasia and Global Human Rights
Kathleen Reen Vice President for ICT Policy and Programs David Rosen Vice President for Finance and Accounting Marjorie Rouse Senior Vice President for Programs
Source
Internews: Directors Officers (Accessed: 1 March 2012)
Internews: Key Staff (Accessed: 1 March 2012)

Lobbying

  • U.S. House of Representatives active lobbyist ID for INTERNEWS

Contact

Internews Arcata
P.O. Box 4448
Arcata, CA 95518-4448
WORK: +1 707 826-2030
EMAIL: info AT internews.org
Website: www.internews.org

Articles & Commentary

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles

References

  1. [1]
  2. Internews International, accessed 12 March 2009
  3. Internews Timeline, Internews, accessed February 16, 2008.
  4. INTERNEWS TIMELINE 1990-1996, Internews, accessed February 18, 2008.
  5. INTERNEWS TIMELINE 1997-2002, Internews, accessed February 18, 2008.
  6. INTERNEWS TIMELINE 2003-2007, Internews, accessed February 18, 2008.
  7. INTERNEWS TIMELINE 2003-2007, Internews, accessed February 18, 2008.
  8. INTERNEWS TIMELINE 2003-2007, Internews, accessed February 18, 2008.
  9. Kenya's Media and Post-Election Violence, USIP, accessed June 4, 2008.
  10. also see and here
  11. [2]
  12. [3]