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Sep 14, 2000

BBA reverses position on Krem TV license

He compared its power to that of an army of ten thousand men, but when the Prime Minister made his now famous remark about television it is doubtful that Said Musa was referring specifically to a TV license for Krem Radio. That license, which we reported had been recommended by the Belize Broadcasting Authority last Thursday, now appears to be in doubt. While nothing official has been released by the BBA, Krem Radio has reported that the Authority convened on Wednesday and reversed its earlier decision, saying it needed more time to consider the policy implications of such a move. Krem, not surprisingly, has cried foul and attributed the reversal of fortune to a number of factors, including vindictiveness on the part of Broadcasting Minister, Mark Espat, pressure applied by existing television broadcasters–notably Channel Five–and a general plot against Krem by the usual suspects: Multinational corporations, foreign embassies along with their local lackeys and of course, Michael Ashcroft. However the drama plays out, if one is really looking for villains, the most likely place to find them is in the world of politics. Ever since the destruction of the BCB in 1998, politicians both in and out of power have sought to consolidate their respective media power bases. Indeed, it has been alleged that both the pressure and finance for TV Krem’s license originated with at least one very high man in government. If the present controversy produces one positive result, it is that the public may now become more media savvy and begin to examine who are the real people and forces behind what they read, hear and see.

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