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Mar-17-2008 16:00TweetFollow @OregonNews
Iraq Coverage of Oregon Soldiers Draws CloserTim King Salem-News.com
A documentary featuring Tim's work in Iraq is tentatively scheduled to air on Oregon Public Broadcasting.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Our coverage of the war in Iraq is set to begin in early April and the last weeks stateside are busy at Salem-News.com, as well as challenging. Being the Oregon media group willing to cover our state's soldiers at war is not a small thought. As we approach my jump off date of April 1st, I want to give our viewers a concise idea of what to expect when I am in Iraq, and of course I am always open to suggestions when it comes to new story ideas.
I will be traveling to Iraq with Evergreen Aviation out of McMinnville, Oregon. This is the group that among other things, brought the world's largest airplane, Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, to Oregon. They next proceeded to build a world class aircraft museum around it. Their generous offer to provide air transport from New York to Kuwait will allow this coverage to happen, and we greatly appreciate it.
Some people will be critical of the fact that I am now an Evergreen contractor, but it is only important to understand that it is how a person gains air passage with this organization, and no military air flights were available. When I cover a war, everything at Salem-News.com changes and the entire staff supports my efforts. It seems important to note in this election year that we do not cover war for the sake of politics, we cover war for the sake of our soldiers and their families and the civilians in these nations we are serving in.
I am seriously excited about seeing Iraq and I want very much to be able to bring you the same types of stories I came into contact with in Afghanistan. These were largely humanitarian in nature. Like all Americans, my heart aches for our losses and for the losses of Afghan and Iraqi civilians. But even within every tragedy there is human hope and goodness and I can only hope that I am fortunate enough to see these things again.
I can tell you for a hard fact and back it up, that Americans in Afghanistan are largely accepted. The Afghan children line the side of the road when a convoy of HUMVEE's passes through their towns, they wave gleefully, most of the time. But that is only the bright side of war, and the dark side is very unforgiving. You catch it in the stares when you pass through a Taliban or anti-Coalition area, the roadside greetings are different.
We really need to appreciate the sacrifice of our servicemembers and complain about the television networks and stations' severe reduction in coverage of Iraq. It is wrong to ignore significant world problems, particularly when our national signature marks them. Keeping people in the dark serves nothing. It is all a sign of the failing aspect of the television industry today, where belts are worn tight and people perform multiple roles to make up for station cutbacks that come with the package when shareholder earnings are more important than the very audience the stations serve.
While in Iraq I will be embedded with different Oregon National Guard units and it is my plan to visit Kirkuk where elements of the Army's 10th Mountain Division are based. The units I will spend time with perform a variety of roles including infantry security forces, air transport and combat engineers.
We still need to secure help in this effort and some new people are joining in the effort to reach out to Oregon businesses and individuals. Our needs are real, and there is little we can do to get around them. As time draws near, I realize I may not be able to upgrade to a high quality ballistic vest as we had hoped, but I appreciate the Salem Police SWAT vest that was loaned to me before Afghanistan and it is good enough to get me in country.
An event last Sunday at Eola Hills Winery in Rickreall will generate over $1,200 once the proceeds are in and that helps a great deal. We also received an incredible helmet mount camera from VIO in Michigan which we are very excited about showing off. Others have pitched in already also, one student donated one dollar through our PayPal account because it was all he had, it was amazing.
Last year's coverage of the war in Afghanistan was available on Salem-News.com and KPTV FOX-12 in Portland, Oregon. This year the TV stations appear reluctant to buy coverage; only Oregon Public Broadcasting has confirmed interest, and they will be looking for a half hour documentary that I will put together.
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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.
Contact Bonnie King at: email@example.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.
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Other stories on Tim's upcoming war coverage in Iraq:
Also, Tim wants to thank all of the people who helped with his work in Afghanistan. Even if Tim can not upgrade his ballistic vest, he has one he can use in the meanwhile thanks to the Salem, Oregon Police SWAT team. He has a combat helmet from Nopp's Jewelers in Salem. They are only part of the help we received, and we have not forgotten that generosity. We hope you feel it was put to good use.
Advertisers: We have a very small sales staff and appreciate the outreach of advertisers. Our rates are very low next to many other media options, and our average number of daily unique visitors last month, February, 2008, was 14,069. Our total number of visitors for the entire month of February was 408,007.
Your business Website will rank higher overnight if you are listed on Salem-News.com, and your relationship to us will help guide people toward your Website. We rarely have a day with less than 10,000 visitors. One day in February, 2008 saw 59,343 unique visitors in 24-hours. Your display ad (banner/tile/skyscraper) can also be a "link" but more importantly, it is like a billboard and people see it as they do any ad and they pay attention if it is good and well placed and has sufficient size.
We have to recognize that poor online advertising programs in the past have shied people away from clicking on Internet ads, so expecting them to open links even on a highly visited site, is a lot to expect. The best way to offset that is with a high quality ad that leads directly to the company's Website, not a series of links and questionnaires. Beautiful or otherwise captivating ads that link to Websites are visited frequently. This is the future and it is happening in Oregon at Salem-News.com.
Our monthly advertising rates start at less than $400 a month. We will help you develop the advertisement and if you do not have a Website, we will create an online presence for your business on Salem-News.com. People who select your ad will be directed to the page we create for you, with images and information you want to share with your community and world, all at the same time.
For more information on advertising, please write to Bonnie King at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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