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Cablegate: Iraq: Italy Trains Iraq Tv Journalists

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ROME 001806

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

SECDEF FOR OSD/AJTORRES
JOINT STAFF FOR SYIKE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID IT IZ KPAO XF IRAQI FREEDOM
SUBJECT: IRAQ: ITALY TRAINS IRAQ TV JOURNALISTS

REF: ROME 355

THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE PROTECT
ACCORDINGLY. NOT FOR INTERNET PUBLICATION.

1. (U) SUMMARY: ITALIAN STATE BROADCASTER RAI HOSTED TEN
TELEVISION JOURNALISTS AND TECHNICIANS FROM THE IRAQI MEDIA
NETWORK FOR A TWO-WEEK TRAINING SESSION IN JANUARY. THE
TRAINING PROVED USEFUL FOR THE IRAQIS, ACCORDING TO LUIGI
SAITTA, A RAI NEWSROOM DIRECTOR WHO OVERSAW THE TRAINING.
SAITTA DESCRIBED THE IRAQI JOURNALISTS AS TECHNICALLY
PREPARED, BUT LACKING IN NEWS SENSE DUE TO YEARS OF WORKING
IN A RIGID ENVIRONMENT. RAI APPEARS WILLING TO HOST SIMILAR
PROGRAMS FOR OTHER IRAQI JOURNALISTS, IF REQUESTED BY ITALIAN
AUTHORITIES. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) ECON AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICERS MET RECENTLY WITH
LUIGI SAITTA, NEWSROOM DIRECTOR FOR ITALY'S PREMIER NEWSCAST
"TG1" ON STATE BROADCASTER RAI. SAITTA PROVIDED EMBOFFS WITH
A BRIEFING ON RAI'S JANUARY 9-23 TRAINING PROGRAM FOR
JOURNALISTS AND TECHNICIANS FROM THE IRAQI MEDIA NETWORK
(IMN). THE PROGRAM IS PART OF AN GOI-SPONSORED, EURO 400,000
(1 EURO = $1.20) ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO IMN (REFTEL).

3. (SBU) RAI, BY SAITTA'S ACCOUNT, HAD VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH
THE ORGANIZATION OF THE PROGRAM. HE EXPLAINED THAT RAI
RECEIVED A REQUEST ON SHORT NOTICE FROM THE ITALIAN MINISTER
OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO HOST THE GROUP. THE PRESENCE OF THE
IRAQI JOURNALISTS, HE SAID, WAS KEPT SECRET FROM THE ITALIAN
PRESS AT THE MFA'S REQUEST.

4. (U) MEMBERS OF THE IRAQI GROUP--WHICH CONSISTED OF CAMERA
OPERATORS, GRAPHICS TECHNICIANS, EDITORS, AND ANCHORS--WERE
GIVEN TWO WEEKS OF TRAINING WITH SEPARATE TECHNICAL AND
EDITORIAL PROGRAMS. AT THE END OF THE TRAINING, THE IRAQIS
PRODUCED A NEWSCAST IN ARABIC USING RAI'S STUDIO AND
EQUIPMENT. SAITTA REMARKED THAT THE IRAQIS ALREADY POSSESSED
ADEQUATE TECHNICAL SKILL AND THAT THE EDITORIAL AND
MANAGEMENT ASPECTS OF THE TRAINING WERE MORE BENEFICIAL. THE
VISITORS, HE ADDED, GAINED THE MOST FROM LEARNING ABOUT RAI'S
NEWSROOM ORGANIZATION AND EDITORIAL PHILOSOPHY. IN
PARTICULAR, HE SAID, THE IRAQIS WERE INTERESTED IN HOW TG1
PRODUCERS PRIORITIZE STORIES BASED ON NEWS WORTHINESS, AS
OPPOSED TO AUTOMATICALLY LEADING WITH THE PRESIDENT OR PRIME
MINISTER.

5. (U) COMMENT: SAITTA BELIEVES HE AND HIS RAI COLLEAGUES
ESTABLISHED A GOOD RAPPORT WITH THEIR IRAQI COUNTERPARTS.
RAI APPEARS WILLING TO HOST SIMILAR TRAINING SESSIONS, IF
REQUESTED BY THE MFA. POST, HOWEVER, HAS NOT HEARD OF ANY
PLANS FOR FOLLOW-UP. END COMMENT.

VISIT ROME'S CLASSIFIED WEBSITE:
HTTP://WWW.STATE.SGOV.GOV/P/EUR/ROME/INDEX.CF M

SEMBLER


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2004ROME01806 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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