U.S. media project in Iraq: A boon for democracy, or unnecessary propaganda?
On October 3rd, the U.S.-based Washington Post newspaper reported that the U.S. Defense Department "will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to 'engage and inspire' the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government.”
In the article, the Post reported that the initiative comes as a reaction against the propaganda played by terrorist groups like Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qeda, “whose media operations include sophisticated Web sites and professionally produced videos and audios featuring Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants.”
What do you think about the U.S.-led initiative? Will it deter the Iraqi media from becoming more independent? Or might it result in increased Iraqi support for the fight against terrorism? If you believe the latter, is such propaganda really so bad?