This is purely because we are a very small team of volunteers and if one of the team is engaged in other work, or perhaps takes a holiday, this means someone else has to cover their work, to keep things at least ticking over, thus slowing everything down. We ensure that the initial work, the collecting and storing of media reports including civilian deaths, is always covered daily and have always thought it more important to do the work meticulously, rather than rushing it out, just to be current. We do aim to be only about two weeks at most behind (reports updating incidents, especially those involving many deaths, often come out at least a week later), but with only three people doing the core work, this has meant we have got considerably further behind than we would like. I am currently working on April 23rd. After the incidents are compiled, we send the information out to our checkers, all also volunteers and most with full-time jobs. This may entail discussion, correction/alteration of details, again causing delays, but vital to our work. I cannot publish incidents to the website until at least 2 checkers are agreed on the detail and have indeed had the time to do the checking.One cannot help but appreciate the fastidious approach of the volunteer crew. The notion that IBC is flagging in its per capita effort is safely dispensed with, it seems.
(Kay Williams e-mail #1, 6/24/08)
Though I consider myself a journalist for purposes of blogging, I try to be extremely careful that those with whom I communicate are suitably aware that I intend to publish what they say. Williams offered a perfect model of civility and cooperation, and agreed to let me publish respecting the current state of IBC. She also encouraged me to in turn encourage my readers to take more complete advantage of IBC's resources and consider supporting their effort through donations.
IBC is trying to get proper funding for work which we consider should be done by all governments involved in conflict. We rely entirely on donations, to finance the website and pay a small amount to a couple of our workers - most of our team are unpaid volunteers, who have now been working on this project for nearly six years, 7 days a week. We are hoping for funding to improve our work, pay the core people something and enable more to be done using our data, for example we want to make the site more of a memorial to those innocent civilians killed, by having a memorial page for each person for whom we have personal details and stories. We have always considered our work to be much more than just numbers. Could you urge any interested readers to consider donating via the website, to keep us going for the present? Also, urge you(r) readers to read all sections of the sit(e), where we explain what we do, why and how etc.?Any of my readers who have no concerns over the editorial content presented at IBC (I do have those types of reservations) is hereby encouraged to strongly consider donating to IBC to assist them in providing a valuable service.
(Kay Williams e-mail #3, 6/24/08)
The IBC Web site is set up very sensibly for easy navigation, in my opinion, but just in case:
Find out about their purpose here and more about their rationale here.
The statements of purpose and rationale should appeal effectively even to those who disagree with some of their editorial positions.
Those interested in helping in IBC's work can find out how by going here.
Bloggers who would like to use the information in this post to encourage support for IBC have my full permission to do so--just don't misrepresent my opinions.
I will repeat that I have personal reservations about contributing to IBC's work. The aspect of their rationale that asserts a premium importance on remembering the war dead transcends pro-Iraq War/anti-Iraq War opinion or editorializing, but in terms of material support I'm not sure the two are separable. I can, in good conscience, publicize what I agree are the worthiest portions of IBC's work and subject to reasonable criticism any editorial positions to which I object.