Cablegate: Placement of President's State of the Union

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. President Bush's State of the Union Address received
good placement in both the print and electronic
media (radio). All four state-run radio channels -
3FM, SpotFM, FM Zimbabwe, and Radio Zimbabwe -
carried excerpts of the Presidents speech starting
with the 1700 news programs broadcast on January 29.
Segments focused on the President's new HIV/AIDS
initiative and policy toward Iraq were also
broadcast on FM Zimbabwe, a channel that broadcasts
in 14 vernacular languages. The story also
dominated the main news programs broadcast in
English at 1800 and 2000 on January 29 on 3FM and
SpotFM. Radio Zimbabwe (audience estimated at two
million) also aired the same news program at 1800
and 2000 hours using the two predominant local
languages of Shona and Ndebele. A combined
listenership of nearly five million people heard the
radio news programs on all four channels.

2. All January 30 carried wire reports on the SOTU
address. The independent daily "The Daily News" carried a
Reuters article on page 7 under headline "Bush seeks $825
billion to fight Aids in Africa." The government-
controlled daily "The Herald" also picked up a Reuters
article about the President's message on Iraq. The paper
published the article on page 2 under headline "Bush vows
to use full force against Baghdad: Washington told to use
caution." Another government-controlled daily "Chronicle,"
published in Bulawayo, used the same Reuters story, but
carried it under the headline "Bush asks UN to hear fresh
Iraq evidence." Under headline "Bush seeks US$15 bln to
fight AIDS in Africa" the independent weekly "The Financial
Gazette" carried another Reuters wire article on page 30.
The pro-government daily "The Daily Mirror" carried an
article by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on
page 17 under headline "Shares plunge after Bush speech."


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