CASE STATEMENT SOUTH AFRICA NOW A Project of The Africa Fund

by The Africa Fund
New York, New York, United States
Undated, apparently 1989
10 pages
Contents: Summary • Program Description • Program Personnel • Program Impact • Conclusion • Attachments • Budgets - 1989 • Current Contributors • The report says South Africa Now is America's only weekly television news magazine program covering developments in southern Africa; South Africa Now is produced by Globalvision, Inc., under the auspices of The Africa Fund, a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational organization. The report says South Africa Now began airing in 1988 in response to the South African government's imposition of a state of emergency and harsh press restrictions on coverage of anti-government protests and official violations of human rights. The report says those restrictions, begun in 1985 and tightened since, have proven effective; leading American journalists and news organizations acknowledge that television news coverage of South Africa in the United States has diminished dramatically as their result, especially in television coverage; an independent study conducted by the Canadian government in 1988 tracked the precipitous decline in North American media coverage of events in South Africa. The report says inside South Africa, vigorous government prosecution of the press restrictions have mirrored efforts to still the opposition to apartheid; during 1988, the Committee to Protect Journalists, an American-based human rights watch, documented 47 instances of South African governmental abuses of the press including media shutdowns, arrest and deportation of journalists, and physical attack on reporters in the course of their duties. The report says in the belief that accurate and timely news regarding the situation in South Africa is essential to informed public debate and policy formation, a group of veteran American and South African journalists joined in early 1988 to fill the news vacuum and to restore the eyesight of the world's press; they determined to provide weekly television coverage despite the South African government's restrictions; the resulting program, South Africa Now, has smuggled footage out of the country when no other means were available to demonstrate to South Africa and the world that censorship cannot stop the story from being told. The report says South Africa Now was first seen on cable systems serviced by the ITN (International Television Network) satellite around the United States; distribution has since grown to include leading public television stations, many foreign outlets, and footage sales to other news organizations. The report says Mozambique, Angola, and Zambia television systems broadcast South Africa Now weekly. The report says South Africa Now is distributing videocassettes of the program within the boundaries of South Africa itself. The report says financial support for the program derives from program and segment sales and contributions from individuals, church groups, and foundations, including Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, and the J. Roderick MacArthur Foundation. The document discusses Les Payne, Newsday, the Weekly Mail, Bishop Desmond Tutu, WNET, WNYC-TV, CUNY-TV, Boston Neighborhood Network & Cambridge Community Access, WETA, WHHM, KQEC, Cable Oakland, KBDI, Vision Interfaith Satellite Network, ITN Satellite Network, Public Broadcasting Service, Carolyn Craven, Danny Schechter, Fana Kekana, Mweli Mziz, Stuart Sender, Jay Weiss, Kathryn Buraczynski, Rory O'Connor, Allan Boesak, the UDF (United Democratic Front), ANC (African National Congress), Nigeria, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to The Africa Fund).
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers