Future TV to Face Charges Unless It Tunes Down News Content
Lebanese Future Television's satellite station will face legal measures if it fails to tone down news content that the government says is "harming the country's higher interests," a media source was quoted by the Daily Star Newspaper as saying Tuesday.
The daily said that Melhem Karam and Mohammed Baalbaki, heads of the Journalists' Union and Press Federation respectively, as well as Nasser Qandil, the president of the National Audiovisual Media Council, will attempt to persuade station officials to exercise greater care in their news bulletins, which have earned the government's ire.
Prime Minister Salim Hoss asked Monday information minister Anwar Khalil to take the necessary steps against FTV to force it to exercise self-censorship and stop its anti-government campaign, the daily added.
Khalil on Tuesday sat down with Karam, Baalbaki and Qandil for a meeting at the ministry to discuss possible ways of dealing with the issue following Hoss' memorandum and whether legal measures against the station were merited.
Karam refused to answer questions from reporters after the meeting, preferring to read a statement issued by participants at the meeting.
The statement said that the participants agreed to deal with satellite stations by taking into consideration both media freedom and the higher national interest, especially when it comes to preserving the confidence of foreign and Arab investors, said the daily.
The source said that the meeting allowed Khalil to express the government's inability to tolerate the campaign, especially since it affected Lebanon's image abroad and harmed Lebanon's efforts in dealing with the expected Israeli pullout from the south.
"The meeting was a clear message to officials at FTV that if they do not stop their campaign, the government will be willing to take legal measures against the station," the source was quoted by the daily as saying – Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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