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Cablegate: Ninewa: Engaging the Local Press

VZCZCXYZ0004
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGB #4515 3450729
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 110729Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8422
INFO RUEKJCS/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 004515

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KPAO IZ
SUBJECT: NINEWA: ENGAGING THE LOCAL PRESS


This is a Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) message.

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SUMMARY
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1.(U) The Ninewa PRT hosted a group of local reporters for an
on-the-record discussion with Team Leader Knight on 25 November,
2006. Representatives of seven news organizations attended,
including local and international journalists. Topics addressed
Ninewa's economic recovery and the impact of U.S. Congressional
elections on U.S. efforts in the province. There were few surprises
arising from the discussion, but all participants agreed that more
regular PRT press events should be scheduled. We hope to use this
beginning to advance our Public Diplomacy program. END SUMMARY

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FOCUSING ON LOCAL MEDIA
-----------------------

2.(U) On November 25, 2006, PRT Team Leader Knight spoke at length
with seven locally resident reporters, including representatives of
Baghdadiya Satellite TV, Civil Society Journal, Middle East Journal,
Nahrain Satellite TV, al-Hurra Satellite TV, Associated Press, and
the Chine News Agency. Team Leader Knight is the first Ninewa PRT
Team Leader to speak to local journalists on-the-record, and this
press event marked a significant engagement with local media. This
event was also cleared for on-the-record with western press by PA in
Washington, working through Embassy Public Affairs Section.
Attendees were enthusiastic participants in this press event and
requested that similar on-the-record discussions be scheduled
monthly.

---------------------
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
---------------------

3.(U) This press event was restricted to Iraqi-American relations as
manifest in Ninewa and Provincial reconstruction. Most questions
concerned Ninewa's economy, Provincial and Coalition reconstruction
efforts, and the impact of U.S. Congressional elections on U.S.
policy in Ninewa. The tone of the event was friendly and
inquisitive.

4.(U) Team Leader Knights' responses to reporters' queries focused
on rebuilding from neglect to Ninewa by the former regime and the
PRT's efforts to build capacity and assist economic recovery in the
province. He detailed ongoing reconstruction projects, steps to
contain corruption in reconstruction efforts, and Ninewa's economic
future - including the PRT's work to resolve ongoing problems of
fuel shortages and limited power.

------------------
MEDIA PRESENTATION
------------------

5. (U) These journalists placed filmed coverage of this discussion
on satellite television channels noted para (2). Several indicated
coverage generated by this discussion have been submitted to print
and electronic media outlets in Ninewa and Kurdistan (Note: We
will translate these articles and provide summaries to Embassy
Baghdad's Public Affairs Section as they become available. End
note.)

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COMMENT
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6. (U) To the extent reasonable, out PRT hopes to respond to the
Ninewa media corps' request for more frequent on-the-record
discussions related to out work in Ninewa. This meeting was
certainly a resounding success - future press events will strengthen
our relationship with local media and become integral to our PRT's
media outreach program. END COMMENT.

KHALILZAD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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