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Cablegate: Media Report - Telepress Conference Generates

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

070704Z Nov 01


UNCLASSIFIED PTO8705

PAGE 01 HARARE 03324 070745Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 A-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
DS-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01
VCE-00 NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 BBG-00 IIP-00 DSCC-00
DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /003W
------------------3AF4A4 070745Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0223
INFO NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS HARARE 003324

SIPDIS

AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, AF/S, NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT - TELEPRESS CONFERENCE GENERATES
DEBATE


1. ON OCTOBER 31 POST HOSTED A TELEPRESS CONFERENCE TO
EXPLORE THE TOPIC "PRESS FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY IN
TIMES OF NATIONAL CRISIS: HAVE THE RULES CHANGED SINCE
SEPTEMBER 11?" THE OBJECTIVE OF THE PROGRAM WAS TO
PROVIDE A PLATFORM TO DISCUSS MEDIA FREEDOM ISSUES AND
AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE KEY POINTS ABOUT THE WAR AGAINST
TERROR. FOR THIS PROGRAM WITH JOURNALIST AND MEDIA
FREEDOM ADVOCATE ADAM CLAYTON POWELL III, WE HAD AN
AUDIENCE OF ABOUT 60 JOURNALISTS JOURNALISM STUDENTS,
POLITICAL AND MEDIA COMENTATORS, REPRESENTATIVES OF
MEDIA AND CIVIC RGANIZATIONS, AND GOVERNMENT-OFFICIALS
FROM THE MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY. AMONG
THE PARTICIPANTS WAS MR. JEALOUS MAWARIRE, A JUNIOR
REPORTER WITH THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED WEEKLY "THE
SUNDAY MAIL." THAT PAPER'S NOVEMBER 4 EDITION CARRIED
AN OPINION PIECE BY MAWARIRE. EXCERPTS FOLLOW.

2. ".THE MOVE THAT HAS BEEN TAKEN BY THE UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT TO CONTROL THE OPERATIONS OF THE MEDIA IN
AMERICA, OSTENSIBLY ON THE PRETEXT THAT INFORMATION FLOW
IN THIS TIME OF NATIONAL CRISIS IS NECESSARY, IS
REGRETTABLE. . . ADAM CLAYTON POWELL III. . .TOLD
PARTICIPANTS THROUGH THE TELEPHONE THAT HIS GOVERNMENT
HAD MOVED IN TO CURTAIL MEDIA FREEDOM AS A MOVE TOWARDS
BEEFING UP SECURITY MEASURES. . . THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
HAS TAKEN IT UPON ITSELF TO DESCEND UPON THE FREEDOM OF
ITS CITIZENS TO FREELY EXPRESS THEMSELVES AND IF WE ARE
MADE TO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS FREEDOM OF THE MEDIA IN
AMERICA WE MIGHT AS WELL BE TOLD THAT SATAN IS GOD'S
BEST FRIEND."

3. COMMENT: MR. POWELL NEVER SAID THAT THE USG HAS
"MOVED IN TO CURTAIL MEDIA FREEDOM" OR ANYTHING ALONG THOSE
LINES. WE DID DISCUSS THE DEBATE OVER WHETHER OR NOT US
NETWORKS WERE RIGHT TO SHOW THE BIN LADEN STATEMENT, AND
OVER THE VOA'S BROADCAST OF THE MULLAH OMAR INTERVIEW, BUT
THE POINT OF THOSE DISCUSSIONS WAS PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE
OF MR. MAWARIRE'S THESIS. WE ARE DRAFTING A LETTER TO THE
EDITOR OF THE SUNDAY MAIL TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 03324 070745Z
SULLIVAN

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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