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Fact Sheet
Released by the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Washington, DC
March 25, 2007

Launch of the Independent Radio & Television Network (IRTN) in Iraq

[Photo page]

The launch of the Independent Radio & Television Network (IRTN) in Diyala, Iraq on Sunday, March 25, 2007 was a great success. The radio station, which has been on the air since March 3, 2007, continued with regular programming with the official "launch" of the station, which took place just after noon with a live televised news cast. This is so important because the four Iraqis ( 2 Sunni and 2 Shia) who have been broadcasting messages of hope, peace, reconciliation, and nonsectarianism on the radio at 99.3FM, officially launched their televised newscasts to Diyala Province on local Channel 34 and, in an act of courage and bravery, showed their faces on television with their newscast and messages of nonsectarianism.

The launching of the IRTN radio and television network was aimed at terrorists who are operating in Diyala Province, literally just miles from the location of this radio/TV station. The IRTN radio station can be heard in Diyala Province, as far south as Hillah, as far west as Fallujah, all over Baghdad, and as far north as Mosul has an audience of over 11 million listeners. The television station, seen locally on Channel 34, can be seen all over Diyala Province.

Background: GO Team

The State Department Global Outreach Team (GO Team) work consists of public affairs specialists from all branches of government who work as part of a 90-day rotation to help facilitate media coverage in Iraq. The GO Team helps ensure that public diplomacy (engaging, informing, and influencing key international audiences) is practiced in harmony with public affairs (outreach to Americans) and traditional diplomacy to advance U.S. interests and security and to provide the moral basis for U.S. leadership in the world.

Recently, the GO Team facilitated the opening of IRTN (Iraqi Radio and Television Network), which is a political and social outreach for the Iraqis and for future generations of this country. The Iraqis have been eager to learn new techniques, develop programming grids, and produce shows professionally.

The State Department's Global Outreach Team (GO Team) has found stories to bring to life over the airwaves. Upcoming shows will feature the new Iraqi constitution; health and nutrition; and an inside look of the Diyala provincial council.

The content of the stories will make the ultimate difference on this media station, regardless of technical challenges such as transmitters and generators. For more on the GO Teams Efforts in Iraq go to state.gov for videos and stories. You can also visit their website at http://iraq.usembassy.gov/iraq/go_team.html.



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