nettime's_roving_reporter on Tue, 25 May 1999 17:38:56 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> (fwd) Serb TV Gets Notice It's Canceled


Serb TV Gets Notice It's Canceled
Satellite Firm Bows To NATO Pressure

By Steven Pearlstein
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, May 23, 1999; Page A20 

BRUSSELS-Over the past two months, NATO fighter planes have taken off
from aircraft carriers and air bases in Italy to drop precision-guided
bombs on studios, antennas and relay stations of Serbia's official state
television in an effort to cripple Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's
"propaganda machine."

But even as NATO jets tried to knock Serbian television off the air, a
European satellite consortium largely controlled by NATO members has been
beaming the state-owned television network throughout the Balkans.

After nearly two months of heavy diplomatic pressure from NATO, Eutelsat's
member states voted Thursday to pull the plug on Serbian television,
probably next week.

"It has been quite embarrassing to have a European satellite collaborating
with Milosevic's propaganda machine while European military was trying to
destroy it," said one NATO ambassador.

Serbian television uses Eutelsat's satellite to beam its signal to viewers
with satellite dishes in Serbia and Montenegro, Yugoslavia's two
republics, as well as Bosnia, Bulgaria and Hungary, where there are
sizable populations of Serbs. Serbia can also use the satellite feed to
resume broadcasting inside the country if NATO bombs knock out relay

According to a report delivered to NATO ambassadors Friday, 31 of
Eutelsat's member countries voted to expel Serbian television under a
provision of the consortium's charter that prohibits broadcast material
designed to promote ethnic hatred. Three countries -- Russia, Belarus and
Armenia -- voted to continue the Serbian transmissions while three others
-- the Vatican, Ukraine and Greece -- abstained. 

          Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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