A Window Into Baghdad

(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed )
Have you seen Alive in Baghdad? It's a weekly video blog – a vlog, as they say – that offers videos of Iraqis speaking in their own words and footage of daily life in Iraq. Founded by a 26-year-old American named Brian Conley, the site was "formed to counter the sound-bite driven, 'Live From' news model," and it offers videos on a wide range of topics – the last three videos are "Perspectives on Electricity," "Car Bomb Survivors," and "A Mother Tells A Martyr's Story." Translations run at the bottom of the screen.

It's good, fascinating stuff, generated by Iraqis living in Baghdad who have been provided with training and video cameras and edited in the US. Want to know what it's like to be an Iraqi police officer? Or see the Baghdad hospital children's ward? This is the place to do so. The videos aren't particularly long, but they're longer than anything you're likely to see on the "Evening News" or the cable networks, long enough to provide a human dimension to a war usually discussed in broad, general terms. Particularly if you're someone that feels the mainstream media doesn't give the full story out of Iraq, you don't want to miss it.

"Essentially, there's something lost when you send someone from another part of the world, or with a specific audience in mind, to tell another individual's story," Conley, who is now setting up a similar operation in Mexico, told the BBC. "We are striving to build journalism in the voice of locals, so that people in different parts of the world can communicate almost directly to their audience around the world."