Thursday, July 28, 2005

TELESUR: Latin America's 'Al Jazeera'?

Some are calling it Latin America's al Jazeera. This weekend, a coalition of leftist governments, media outlets and movements, led by Venezuela, officially launched Telesur - a new Latin America-wide satellite TV network. Just after noon on Sunday, Telesur began broadcasting a pilot service from studios in Caracas with a team of 25 journalists in nine regional bureaus presenting news "from a Latin American perspective." The channel's first news program began with a critical report on the failure of the humanitarian mission in Haiti followed by a story on the plight of refugees in Colombia.

The station is being launched with help from other Latin American governments including Argentina, Cuba and Uruguay. The driving force has been Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whose government has contributed 70 percent of Telesur's financing and owns 51 percent of the channel. The channel's board members include a group of international supporters including the actor Danny Glover, the writer Tariq Ali and Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel.

But even before its launch, Telesur was being attacked in Washington. Last week the House passed an amendment calling for the U.S. to begin broadcasting its own channel into the region to counter Telesur. Chavez responded by saying, "we will take measures to neutralize the attempt, and what we will have is a kind of electronic warfare."
[SOURCE: Democracy Now!]
* Danny Glover: Latin station won't demonize U.S.
(c)Benton Foundation 2005. Communications-related Headlines is a free online news summary service provided by the Benton Foundation (