Thursday, December 14, 2006

Former CNN News Chief To Launch 'IraqSlogger' Site

For those of you not familiar with Jordan, here is a little background...

As Chief News Executive for CNN, Eason Jordan played a key role in planning CNN coverage of world events and conflicts. He worked at the news network from 1982 until his resignation in 2005 and was the recipient of two Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards and the DuPont-Columbia Award.

He studied journalism at Georgia State University. He is also known for having a relationship with Mariane Pearl, widow of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

On April 11, 2003, Jordan revealed that CNN knew about human rights abuses committed in Iraq by Saddam Hussein since 1990, but the network refrained from coverage of them in order to gain better access to information on Hussein's government. Jordan maintained that complete reporting would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqi informants, and confidentiality was ensured to protect the lives of anti-Hussein Iraqi activists and translators.

In November 2004 at the News Xchange conference in Portugal, Jordan claimed that United States armed forces were arresting and torturing non-coalition Arabic journalists in Iraq. He also claimed that American troops were intentionally killing these journalists. [1] That month, U.S. forces detained al-Arabiya reporter Abdel Kader al-Saadi for 11 days without explanation during U.S.-led attacks on Fallujah. [2] The U.S. has twice dropped bombs on Al Jazeera offices in Afghanistan and Iraq and on November 22, 2005, Britain's Daily Mirror carried a story on the minutes of a meeting between George Bush and Tony Blair in which the U.S. president appeared to propose bombing Al Jazeera headquarters in Qatar. The meeting between the two leaders took place during the height of the first battle for Fallujah.

On January 27, 2005, during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Jordan was reported to have said that American troops were targeting journalists in Iraq. He has since backtracked from the statement. Tapes of the event have not been released to the public.

On February 11, 2005, Jordan resigned to "prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished by the controversy over conflicting accounts of my recent remarks regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq." After leaving CNN, Jordan founded Praedict, which describes itself as a "war zone-focused media company providing customized, up-to-the-minute news, intelligence, and safety tips to those in harm's way."

(NEW YORK) – For the past four years there has been no shortage of news and views on Iraq and the long-running war there. What’s been missing: a one-stop-shopping clearinghouse for nonpartisan information, including material coming out of Iraq itself from natives of that country, not from foreign correspondents.

Now that need is finally being addressed in the form of IraqSlogger, in Beta at, but due to be officially launched next week. Its director is the former CNN news division chief, Eason Jordan, who quit that post suddenly in 2005 after 23 years with the company. The name of his new venture, he says, was inspired by a Donald Rumsfeld reference to this war being a “long, hard slog.”

The concept, Jordan tells E&P, “grew out of the feeling that I think many people shared that there was no one place to go. Individual news organizations do terrific work but you can spend the better part of a day going from one site to another and one TV outlet to another,” searching for a full picture.

“Iraq is the story of our time,” he declares. His goal for the site is for it to become nothing less than “the world's premier Iraq-focused information source” -- and with no “political slant.”

His site includes everything from links to op eds and articles in mainstream U.S. papers to “viral videos” and jokes from Iraq. Jordan points to “nuggets” missed by the U.S. media, such as Iraqis getting “addicted” to the TV series “Lost,” or the latest kidnapping of contractors. Not merely a collection of links, it will focus on what he calls "original reporting from Iraq beyond the traditional."

One of the site’s unique and most valuable services is a daily roundup of news from Iraqi newspapers that few in the U.S. media have ever bothered to translate. Jordan has Arabic speakers here and in Iraq providing this service, and so far this week, these columns have gotten "far more" traffic than anything else on the site. A staffer in Iraq also monitors blogs there.

When have you ever seen coverage of what’s dominating the front page of the U.S. military’s Camp Victory paper, the Victory Times? IraqSlogger reports today that on the current front page there, “military doctors are calling on U.S. troops in Iraq to stop smoking.”

Taking a page from Slate, the site will offer a morning roundup of stories in U.S. papers. At the same time, it will present in-depth profiles of little-covered Iraqi cities. Up right now: a look at Hawija. Another item on the site wonders why the Iraq Study Group report said there were 5000 contractors in Iraq when the Pentagon has claimed 100,000. And surely it is the only site featuring the Kirkuk Police Blotter.

IraqSlogger is an “offshoot,” Jordan says, of Praedict, “a news and information company that focuses on hot spots around the world.” Jordan is founder and CEO. Praedict intends to launch a series of news and safety-focused sites, with IraqSlogger the first. It will soon be joined by a premium, subscription-only adjunct called IraqSafetyNet, aimed at providing “intelligence” and “security” tips to employers (both private and governmental) of people in war zones.

Jordan, who now lives in New York, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Committee to Protect Journalists. He has won various Emmy, Peabody and Headliner awards and directed war coverage for CNN in Somalia, Yugoslavia and Iraq. He exited CNN in the wake of the uproar over his off-the-record comments (which he insisted were misinterpreted) at a Davos meeting concerning U.S. military involvement in the accidental deaths of several journalists in Iraq. He had co-founded the Iraq News Safety Group to help protect media workers there.

Others affiliated with the site include Nir Rosen and Robert Young Pelton.

So what's an example of Iraqi humor these days? From the site:

--An Iraqi guy has a new girlfriend and wants to know whether she is Sunni or Shia. But he is too shy to ask directly. Finally he asked her, "Where does your family bury your corpses?"

1 comentarios:

marie said...

That was some wierd humor. :-/


Don't think for me. Don't assume what I want to hear or read. Give me facts. Give me reasons. But not yours. Bring me debate. Enlighten me. Today, accountability is masked behind anonymity; bylines are hidden by zeros and ones. Everyone publishes; everyone is "in the know." Ethics are non-existent. Speculation is king. The truth is masked and a hostage. Empowered by our minds, WE ARE THE FREAKSPEAKERS!


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