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Joy TV suspends BBC news

The country’s only nominally private television station Joy TV suspended British Broadcasting Corporation news programming without any explanation.

The station which broadcast from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation premises and used ZBC facilities had been airing BBC news since its launch in July 1997.

It did not produce news of its own.

Although it produced talk shows it stopped the series shortly after Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai featured as a guest before the presidential elections.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 02HARARE1051, JOY TV” SUSPENDS BBC NEWS BROADCASTS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE1051

2002-05-02 13:30

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 001051

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR COX AND ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT AND

SCHLACHTER, AF/RA FOR DIPALMA, INR/R/MR, NSC FOR

JENDAYI FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM

SUBJECT: “JOY TV” SUSPENDS BBC NEWS BROADCASTS

 

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSISIFED. NOT FOR INTERNET POSTING.

 

1.   (U) Joy Television, a nominally independent

Zimbabwean television broadcaster, has suspended BBC

News programming with immediate effect. Since its

launch in July 1997, the station has broadcast a BBC

World TV news summary at 2000 each day. Joy TV offered

no explanation for dropping the BBC news.

 

2.   (U) Joy TV operates on a frequency leased from the

Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and uses ZBC

facilities for its few productions. For the most part,

Joy TV offers its viewers (limited to the Harare area)

American sitcoms, action and talk shows. As part of

its licensing agreement with the Government of

Zimbabwe, Joy TV does not produce its own news

programming. It has, on occasion, produced talk shows.

Joy TV’s most recent talk show series disappeared

shortly after MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai appeared as

the featured guest just before the presidential

election.

 

3.   (SBU) Comment: Joy TV’s license expires on May

31, 2002. The Government of Zimbabwe has indicated

that it will not renew the license. Joy TV management,

however, maintains that it will find an accommodation

with the government in order to stay on the air. Given

the Government of Zimbabwe’s hatred of the BBC, we

suspect that Joy TV’s sudden cancellation of BBC news

is part of that “accommodation.”

 

SULLIVAN

 

(60 VIEWS)

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