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April 12, 2006


The Lounsbury

Father of Aardvarks:

You might find this blog comment relevant and interesting: http://www.blog.ma/obiterdicta/index.php?action=article&id_article=7625

It is, however, in French.

Regarding this issue, I am afraid I found your entry and the underlying commentary confusing.

First, as I understand MEPI, they operate by giving grants or financing to American institutions that then engage in the area of work defined. For example, I keep running into some kids from the International Republican Institute (IRI), some kind of democracy promotion NGO, who work on "party training" and other empty phrases.

As such it's not clear to me from these arties, who the real actors are. The article is terribly unclear as to the actual proposal. While experience with US public diplo efforts these past few years has led me to expect bufoonery combined with charmingly naive incompetence, in this instance I am not clear what is what.

Reading the Media Program Request for Pre-Application, that would be a direct grant - although my review of it suggests that few private media institutions are going to bother given it's soaked with bureaucratese.

Well, perhaps me pain meds are making me stupid.

The Lounsbury

An added thought.

In the area of media, perhaps the bright young things who work on these proposals should be required to submit it to an anonymous panel of otherwise well-educated US citizens in the guise of a foreign governments activity in the US to see if it passes the sniff test.

Amy Hawthorne

MEPI funds both American and Arab organizations.

issandr El Amrani

Incidentally, the Moroccan government has started its own subsidy program for the mostly privately-owned print media. The sums involved are actually decent.

Amy Hawthorne

Now, that's a great way to encourage [read: control] privately-owned, independent press - government subsidies!

The Lounsbury

Interesting, well, not my area in the end.

Regardless, the article and materials are confusing.

Direct USG financing of Media is a loser, not going to work. MEPI would be smarter throwing its money into a pool with some others to finance media. Maybe like a quasi Development Fund for media.


L - yes, that's the idea behind the programs I know about, not direct funding of local media. Which is, I agree, a losing proposition.

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