Ten years after the war: Iraq’s media caught in sectarian crossfire, but Young bloggers bring hope

Intensifying sectarian tensions, a threat of civil war, and media which adds fuel to the fire. Osama Al-Habahbeh, IMS’ Iraq Programme Manager takes stock of Iraq’s media 10 years after the US-led invasion began
 From IMS By Osama Al-Habahbeh 
Iraqi bloggers in Red Museum in Sulimanyah Kurdistan
during the first Conference For Iraqi Bloggers
While the Iraqi media is caught in the crossfire of the country’s sectarian divides, a new movement provides hope for the future: The Iraqi bloggers

“The Arab bloggers who contributed to toppling dictators in Tunisia and Egypt have inspired us to stand together and try to create a better society in Iraq,” says Hamzoz, spokesperson for the Iraqi Network for Social Media Activists (INSM), a group of young Iraqis fed up with sectarian war, longing for lives like those of young people elsewhere
In Iraq, where people’s freedom of movement is restricted due to lack of security, and the influence of factional forces on the media, citizen-journalists give rise to new voices in the national and local discourse
“Blogging is a chance for me to express my opinions and thoughts freely without being subjected to the political agendas of the news organisations,” says Hamzoz
“We complement the corporate media with local and citizen information. The blogging network’s goal is to expose human rights abuses, so we blog about the concerns of regular people, which are then republished by journalists. We hope this will help ensure a brighter future for Iraq,” says Hamzoz


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