Friday, May 18, 2012

creating media outlet for Afghans for Peace

The panel on Afghanistan, included morethan Phyllis Bennis. There were also three women (two Canadian and one American) from Afghans for Peace.

They had found each other through Facebook and shared a frustration at NATO policy toward Afghanistan and wanted to deepen their connection and support for the country.

One of the issues they discussed was not having a media outlet to tell the news from an Afghan point of view. When I talked to them afterward, they also noted that communicating amongst the Afghan diaspora was challenging too.

I proposed using Kickstarter (Wikipedia) to raise money to create a website (media outlet) for members of the diaspora to discuss matters, a blog community. The expectation is that once the website established itself as a community, it could then also become a central point for publishing original news and analysis. This would be a news outlet and also be a way of avoiding the biases and spin added by corporate news outlets.

Samira was not familiar with Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a fundraising tool that allows money to be raised from donors around the world. It relies on the project organizers to tap into their personal networks, but it also makes it possible to reach beyond the inner circle.

I would probably write a budget for six months of funding to create the website and pay someone to manage it. Once the site is ready to do original journalism, it should create a second Kickstarter fundraiser and hire one or more people to report on Afghanistan.

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