Military and Afghan Media Formed Partnerships, According to Wikileaks Docs

You think your newsroom is bad, think about one in Afghanistan surrounded by war and destruction. Sounds like tough conditions, but then add on constant pressure from the U.S. government, and it seems like an untenable situation.

Well, apparently the military was using this chaos to push Afghanistan journalists into writing favorable stories about the troops in local papers and radio stations. Buried in the mess of the 92,000 pages of documents published by Wikileaks is evidence that the military funded radio stations and called Afghan journalists “our journalists.”
Yahoo’s John Cook found one instance, which included a payment that neared four grand to air 12 hours of radio content, covering topics like Afghanistan History, Law, and Human Rights.
“Additionally, PRT [A group within the military tasked with rebuilding Afghanistan] paid Radio Ghaznwyan $3,900 for Radio Content Programming air time for the month of October,” said the document uncovered by Cook.
This partnership went both ways, and the Afghan media also looked for opportunities for a military collaboration. Cook also found an instance where a news director asked to meet with military representatives in order to discuss a partnership. The director offered to provide military-friendly news. It’s unclear what the news director wanted out of the deal, but it’s probably not the best way to go about doing your job here in the states.
Photo by The U.S. Army