Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Let’s hear it for those no-nonsense, play-by-the-rules Swedes.

According to local media reports, the Swedish broadcasting regulator has ruled that an evening of documentaries on Cuba televised by the publicly-funded STV network late last year was far too favourable to Fidel Castro. T
hat's right, folk: too favourable.

For reasons best known to the programmers, STV broadcast a four hour “theme evening” on 2 December to belatedly “celebrate” the ailing dictator’s 80th birthday.

Three documentaries went to air during the evening, including Oliver Stone’s notoriously one-sided Comandante, plus a studio discussion.

Well, the evening didn’t go down too well with some viewers – 19 formal complaints were lodged with the Swedish Broadcasting Commission, which investigated the complaints and released its findings earlier this week.

The regulator concluded that the “theme evening” had breached a requirement that television productions be “politically balanced”.

"While certain critical views of Fidel Castro and his regime were put forward in the studio discussion, the question of human rights for example was never tackled”, the commission said.

"A schedule in which a controversial political leader is allowed to put forward his message in two long programmes in the same evening requires...some kind of balancing element.”

For their part, STV representatives admitted that "it would naturally have been better if freedom of speech on Cuba had been dealt with more comprehensively”.

Refreshing, no?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so they've admitted their programming was inappropriate, i.e., clearly favorable to a totalitarian dictator and his oppressive regime. Fine.

So what are they going to do about it, besides admit the obvious? Are they going to broadcast material made by or on behalf of the countless victims of the dictatorship? Or is this like singer Janet Jackson flashing her bare breast on TV, getting huge publicity, and later claiming it was an unfortunate mishap?

1:36 am  

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