Friday, December 01, 2006

Students podcast Iraq War news

The most impressive example of Web journalism I've found this week comes from a group of Swarthmore College students. War News Radio airs once a week on the campus radio station and is also podcast over the Web, drawing up to three thousand listeners a day. What makes the show particularity impressive though is not the numbers, but the high quality material they produce on a weekly basis. The show explores a myriad of issues regarding the Iraq War and ends up doing a better job of it than most mainstream news organizations.

Instead of regurgitating the administration's talking points or complaining about Bush, they generate really original, thought-provoking stories. They do so by actually calling people in Baghdad and talking to them with the intention of learning about their life, their surroundings and most importantly their context. From their Web site:
We at War News Radio are trying to rediscover the voices of real people. Our show fills the gaps in the media's coverage by airing new perspectives, both personal and historical, in a balanced and in-depth manner. We hope our broadcasts will engage our listeners and inspire them to engage critically with the rest of the world.
Read this story from The New Yorker to learn more about how they function as a college radio station. Its pretty humbling to know students are capable of creating such great work. A couple of shows from their Web site I wanted to highlight:

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