Iraq News Site Morphing into News Service, Says Reuters Foundation

By: E&P Staff

An online news exchange will develop into an Internet news service in Iraq, according to the Reuters Foundation (RF).

Earlier this year, RF announced that it and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had launched an Arab-language Web site allowing Iraqi media to pool their news coverage (E&P Online, March 16).

Now, said RF, additional resources secured from the UNDP and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation will enable the service, called “Voices of Iraq,” to provide breaking news to local, regional, and international media. The agency will have journalists reporting from each of the 18 governorates in Iraq.

The “Voice of Iraq” site currently publishes more than 600 news items a month. Reports are drawn from 30 stringers and a group of contributing media organizations that include three of Iraq’s independent newspapers.

Meanwhile, RF has provided journalism training to more than 50 Iraqi reporters.

“The development of a robust, independent, and reliable media industry in Iraq is of fundamental importance to the world’s understanding of this nation and its people,” Reuters Editor-in-Chief Geert Linnebank said in a statement. “This new agency — the first of its kind in Iraq’s history — will have a profound effect on how this country’s story is told. Staffed and run by local journalists reporting on their own people and governments, I am sure it will become an indispensable source which will provide a much fuller picture than we have today of the key issues and events really driving this country’s development.”

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