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NATO Television: New Website Offers Useful Information

NATO recently launched a new website through the Public Diplomacy Division called NATO TV.  The site has so far been producing front-line operational footage, interviews on NATO issues, press conference videos, an archive with footage going back to 1945, and more.

Undoubtedly much of the footage will be propaganda, though NATO is billing it as news and "the voice of 26 countries".  However, this propaganda may not be a bad thing, for at least two reasons:

•    First, there is a broad lack of understanding about NATO's role in the post-Cold War world, and reasonably so: today's threats are more complicated and nuanced than ever before, making NATO's role in responding to them more difficult to understand than when it had one main mission: deter a Soviet onslaught.  NATO TV increases transparency on NATO's activities and organization in an easily digestible format.

•    Second, while NATO has accomplished a lot historically, and continues to be a key Alliance for both Europe and the United States today, often the media (including yours truly) only highlight controversies or failures – “the only good news is bad news,” as they say. NATO TV will provide information on positive achievements.

As an example of a NATO TV product, the website is running a series that follows the daily life of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) located in Southern Helmand Province, part of the NATO International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF).  I found the second episode (three of six parts have been released at the time of this post) to be the most interesting.  In it, Sergeant Ryan Messina provides the following quote on progress in Afghanistan from the perspective of a foot soldier:
When you see the way it was, and the effect you have on it, and the way it is now, it has a big impact on you as a person, you feel good about yourself, you feel like you have done something for these people.   
You can find the three videos released so far at the natochannel.tv website.

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Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

NATO misses a huge opportunity, because it does not enable embedding of the videos, i.e. blogs cannot show these success stories.

John in Michigan, USA on :

I don't think the site is fully up and running yet. I can't get any videos at all, there is a link for a FAQ but it isn't clickable, etc. Yet it is being "advertised" on [url=http://www.nato.int/]www.nato.int[/url] I hope they get their act together soon.

Kyle on :

The videos worked for me on my Mac using Firefox and Safari, and on my friend's PC using internet explorer. It may have something to do with your computer? It is true the site is young though, and I imagine they are still figuring out the bugs.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Kyle, You are accessing the site from Brussels, aren't you? I wonder if it refuses to serve videos inside the US? I am using Windows XP and have tried Firefox and IE.

Pat Patterson on :

I just watched the three videos using IE, Firefox and Flock through my PC. A little slow to boot up but no problems as of 4:26 PM Pacific Daylight Time. There were quite a few problems in the US with Blogger which caused IE to refuse to go to some sites and it was difficult if not impossible to access videos for a couple of hours.

Jared on :

Works fine for me, accessing from New York.

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