WASHINGTON ø The United States has approved a plan to rebuild Iraq's
The Bush administration has authorized a project called the Iraqi Media
Network. The project would modernize the infrastructure for both broadcast
and print media in Iraq.
The Defense Department has awarded Harris Corp. a $95.5 million for the
media project in Iraq. Under the project, the Melbourne, Fla.-based company
would rebuild and operate Iraq's television, radio and newspaper network.
The projects would include the establishment of a 24-hour news and
information channel as well as a network of modern daily newspapers that
stress a post-Saddam Iraqi democracy. Harris would also manage the newspaper
sponsored by the former regime of Saddam Hussein.
In 2003, the Iraqi network was operated by Science Applications
International Corp., a U.S. defense contractor, Middle East Newsline reported.
A Pentagon statement said the work will be performed in Iraq and is
expected to be completed by January 2005. The statement said contract funds
will not expire at the end of fiscal 2004.
Officials said several bids were solicited via the web in October. Five
bids were received for the competition.
The Defense Contract Command, based in Washington, has been authorized
to oversee the contract. Officials said Harris will work with companies from
Iraq, Kuwait and Lebanon to create the media outlets. They include the
Beirut-based Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. and Kuwait's Al Fawares. Al Fawares
prints the U.S. magazine Newsweek in Arabic.