News Headlines Wednesday August 6th 2003
MANGOLD TO MAKE DAVID KELLY DOCUMENTARY
British-based TV station Channel 4 has signed up Tom Mangold, a long-standing friend of David Kelly, to make a documentary about the Government weapons inspector.
Mangold, a former BBC journalist, became a de facto spokesman for Dr Kelly after the scientist's body was discovered near his Oxford home last month.
He is likely to take a hard line on the BBC and the Government over their conduct in the days leading up to his death.
It is thought the programme will include an interview with Dr Kelly's widow or other close family. Given Mangold's friendship with the family, their views on his death are almost certain to feature in the documentary.
"The one-hour film will explore the background to the row between the BBC and the Government over Andrew Gilligan's report on Radio 4," a Channel 4 spokesman said in a statement.
IRAQI TV HEAD QUITS WITH SALVO AT US
The post-war director of Iraqi Television has quit and blamed the US for losing the propaganda war to Iran and Saddam Hussein.
Ahmed Rikabi, a former Iraqi exile, walked out on the station to return to London after becoming disillusioned with the post-war regime.
"Saddam Hussein is doing better at marketing himself, through al-Jazeera and Al Arabiya Gulf channels," Rikabi said, referring to the audio tapes believed to be from the former Iraqi leader which have been supplied to those stations and broadcast across the region.
"The people of Iraq, including the Sunni Muslims, are not about to turn against their liberators, but they are being incited to do so. These channels contribute to tension within Iraq. You need television at their level," he said.
THAI PM UNDER PRESSURE TO ALLOW JOURNALISTS BACK TO WORK
Media watchdog the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has stepped up the pressure on Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra whose TV network iTV is appealing against a court ruling to give 21 employees their jobs back.
The 21 editorial workers were sacked in February 2001 for forming a labour union but have since been vindicated by the Labour Relations Committee, the International Labour Organisation and the Thai Labour Court.
"The fact that the prime minister of Thailand's family is a major shareholder in a company that has such a blatant disregard for labour rights and the decisions of both domestic and international labour tribunals is shameful," said IFJ president Christopher Warren.
SUSPECT IN JOURNALIST'S MURDER DIES IN CUSTODY
A suspect in the murder of an opposition journalist in the Ukraine has died while in police custody.
Former policeman and gang leader Ihor Honcharov was accused of complicity in the slaying of Heorhiy Gongadze, whose headless torso was found shortly after he disappeared in 1999.
Honcharov died of unknown causes while he was being taken by ambulance from jail to a hospital on 1 August, according to the Institute for Mass Information (IMI), the Ukrainian arm of the Press rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
BANGLADESH JOURNALISTS FACE HOSTILITY DAILY: WATCHDOG
There have been more than 130 assaults on press freedom in Bangladesh within the last eight months alone, according to journalists defence group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Since the beginning of the year, RSF has registered 51 physical attacks against journalists (including 10 attempted killings), 50 death threats, 13 arrests, 14 abusive lawsuits and prosecutions and five abductions.
CBS ACCUSED OF BOYCOTTING BLACKS ON EVENING NEWS
An e-mail sent out on behalf of US network CBS to find subjects for a news feature on the unemployed clearly stated that no blacks need apply, a media website has reported.
The text of the email was written by a senior media coordinator at think-tank, the Economic Policy Institute, and cleared for release by CBS executives, CBS watchdog ratherbiased.com said.
"Reporter prefers the individual/family NOT be African-American," the email allegedly read.
The email's author reasoned that the producer had not wanted to "further the stereotype that only African-Americans are on welfare or are the only ones who need it."
POLICE OFFICER CONDEMNED FOR ATTACK ON REPORTER
A Nepalese police officer has been condemned by a human rights group for an alleged attack on a journalist.
The Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies called on the police to stop intimidating journalists and respect freedom of speech.
Their denouncement of Nepalese police comes after an alleged attack on Krishna Hari Ghimire, a crime reporter for the daily Annapurna Post. The journalist had been probing the death of a colleague Amar Lama, former managing editor of the Taja Khabar.
WIFE SLAMS HUSBAND'S PRISON CONDITIONS
The wife of jailed Cuban journalist Raúl Rivero has attacked the unacceptable prison conditions in which he is being held.
Blanca Reyes said her husband has lost nearly 20kg in weight since he was jailed five months ago for 20 years for "undermining the state."
Reyes said her husband, a poet and journalist, was being deliberately held in harsh conditions at Canaleta jail in Ciego de Avila.