by ELISSA SALAMY, The National Desk
WASHINGTON (TND) — According to a government spending watchdog group, half a million dollars in U.S. tax funds are to be spent to support independent media bloggers in Tajikistan.
“We will support projects that raise the quality and quantity of visual content created by amateur journalists and bloggers in order to expand their audience with attractive content,” states a recent grant notice from the U.S. State Department.
“It's a perfect example of a waste that's in our foreign aid budget,” said Open The Books’ Adam Andrzejewski to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “This is a half-million dollars. It's a lot of money. And I don't think the American people want to see their money being spent overseas in this fashion.”
According to Andrzejewski, the U.S. spends up to $50 billion a year on foreign aid.
“If you compare the federal aid to the states versus our U.S. foreign aid, our foreign aid would dwarf the federal payments to 48 states. Only California and New York received more money,” said Andrzejewski.
The grant was recently published on the State Department's website, asking for grantees to apply, said Andrzejewski.
“They're going to train these bloggers, these ‘local journalists’ with the promise to fund them even more for those that show that they can do a ‘good job,'” said Andrzejewski. “This is government funding journalists, and that is, quite simply, Soviet.”