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Feb-24-2008 18:46printcomments

Making War Coverage a National Community Project

Sending a reporter into harm's way is a risky business. We appreciate help from our community and from other Americans who want to see real stories about real people serving at war.

Salem-News.com
Salem-News.com's Tim King flanked by Col. Dan Hokanson on the left, and Maj. Arnold Strong, friends from Salem, Oregon, on the summit of the Ghar at Kabul, Afghanistan in January 2007
Photo by S/Sgt Jerry Golden

(SALEM, Ore.) - Salem-News.com reporter Tim King is preparing to visit Baghdad, Iraq in late March for four to six weeks to cover the Oregon Guard at war. This will be Tim's second trip overseas to cover the combat operations of Oregon's civilian soldiers. He will also cover operations of the U.S. Army's historic 10th Mountain Division at Kirkuk, Iraq.

Americans at large seem to have lost interest in Iraq and in spite of the fact that tens of thousands of our soldiers go on fighting and in some cases, dying there, the demand for war coverage at the American networks has never been lower.

Groups like the conservative Media Research Center say FOX News is more fair when it comes to war coverage, but Portland's local FOX affiliate which carried Tim's work from Afghanistan during the winter of 2006/07 has declined to carry the Iraq coverage of Oregon's soldiers.

Unfortunately for the Oregon National Guard, Portland, Oregon's TV stations share a seemingly equal level of disinterest when it comes to Iraq. It appears as though it is up to the Internet and new media outlets to make up the difference.

Oregon's soldiers in particular, have been sent to Iraq and Afghanistan in some cases multiple times, in an attempt to feed the machine set into motion by our federal government.

Setting out to secure the necessary resources for a journalistic mission of this nature during the Vietnam War was only a fraction of the challenge for journalists, as the nation remained glued to combat reports on TV for the duration of the war. But coverage can make a war unpopular and so the trends affecting the Iraq War are different.

If this bothers you and you support our men and women in uniform who are fighting in Iraq, then help us accomplish this trip with a high degree of success by pitching in what you can to for expenses that won't be accommodated or offset through one of our local stations.

Another option is to attach your name or your company's name specifically to some of the equipment needs that exist. The items are listed below.

There are many ways Salem-News.com can dedicate its time and resources, and we believe covering our state's guard soldiers at war is at the top of the list.

Evergreen Aviation in McMinnville is providing transportation to Kuwait, and that is a class example of how people in Oregon can come together to make this a safe and rewarding effort for all the families and friends of our brothers and sisters in uniform.

There are a number of items mentioned below, that will greatly affect the success of our work in Iraq. Tim King spent two months over the winter of 2006/07 covering the Oregon Guard in Afghanistan. That experience allows Salem-News.com to have a much clearer idea about what it takes to cover war.

Cellular phone and calling plan (International)

Blackberry phone

Good quality digital still camera

Helmet mounted video cameras (This is tentatively covered by the owner of a Michigan company that contacted Salem-News.com last week)

Dual core laptop computer

External hard drives, flash drives and SD cards

Improved body armor (Tim currently has a Salem Police SWAT vest but it does not stop the dreaded 7.62 AK-47 round as the soldier's body armor does)

Clothing items: other things such as thermals, hiking socks, military style pants

Travel Expenses: (Tim will travel from New York to Kuwait with Evergreen Aviation, but round trip travel, food and lodging costs still exist from Oregon to New York)

You can make a PayPal donation with your credit card at the bottom of the page

If any groups, individuals or companies would particularly like to raise Tim's safety level while in Iraq, please consider providing an upgraded ballistic type vest. We have already received our first $50 PayPal donation for that specific goal.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Knopp's Jewelers in Salem for providing Tim's military helmet as well as several other local businesses and individuals who assisted in Tim's coverage of the war in Afghanistan.

Making a difference

Sending a reporter into harm's way to cover the actions of our state's civilian soldiers is a risky business. We appreciate help and assistance from our community and from other Americans who want to see real stories about real people serving at war. It isn't about politics; it is about families and real people live a very tough life far from home.

Special Event: March 9th

For those who can attend, a special event will be held Sunday, March 9th at Eola Hills Winery in Rickreall, Oregon, FROM 12:30-3:00 pm. This is a Salem-News.com sponsor that was instrumental in helping us raise funds for the trip to Afghanistan.

We will bring you more information as we near the event, and look for additions to the list of needs as well. All of those who help will be credited in our war reports.

Contact Bonnie King at: bonnie@salem-news.com and tell her what you would like to do to help. Tim is the father of several boys ranging from 8 to 24 and they all appreciate the community's support in making this a safe and effective project.

To Help, donate via PayPal:

To send a check:
Salem-News.com
Attn: Iraq Trip
P.O. Box 5137
Salem, Oregon 97304

THANK YOU!!

Other stories on Tim's upcoming war coverage in Iraq:

If you Really Care About our Soldiers in Iraq

Salem-News Reporter Heads to War Again




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Afghan Vet February 25, 2008 11:48 am (Pacific time)

Tim is undertaking another huge assignment, covering the war from the local perspective yet again. After his extraordinary trip last year in support of telling our story from Afghanistan, he has volunteered again to return to another front, this time Iraq. I am overjoyed to write that this is one reporter that can be trusted to inform citizens of the Great Pacific Northwest (and indeed the world) of the work done by normal everyday citizens that lay down their plough shares and pick up their muskets like the Minutemen of yesterday to keep our nation safe and support those in emerging democracies to improve their lot. Tim's experience as a Marine and his in-depth knowledge of and relationships with members of the Oregon Army National Guard make him an easy to work with reporter that understands how to balance operational security with a need to fill in the void left by the main stream media on local heroes serving in a foreign land. I am very excited to see the work that Tim does on this upcoming trip and enthusiastically support any effort to get this world class video journalist downrange. Do what you can to support his trip. Tim is an asset and he needs our help to get our Oregon story told. Hooah!


Henry Ruark February 25, 2008 6:29 am (Pacific time)

To all: What better kudos can one win than that from Oregon Soldier ? Let me add from longtime (sometimes painful !} journalistic experience that the role of the war correspondent is the topnotch of the profession, demanding not only personal courage but also the most difficult of integrities, to tell the truth in the face of horrendous difficulties. Tim has demonstrated the best possible in this world and deserved every bit of the support needed to bring home to Oregon the solid truths he will find, again.


Oregon Soldier February 24, 2008 9:23 pm (Pacific time)

Tim is one of the few reporters that will always be welcome to spend time around Oregon's 41st Brigade Combat Team and the evidence of his approach to reporting in Afghanistan is all over YouTube and other video sites and on this site. Tim is prior military, a marine if I remember, and he knows how to cover a war and tell the stories that nobody else takes the time to care about. I support Tim King's war coverage and I hope you do too.

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©2019 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


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