May 24, 2005
Telesur, the Latin American television station, broadcast a test signal on Tuesday that covered four countries.
Communication and Information Minister AndrÈs Izarra inaugurated the trial run from the RÌos Reyna room of the Teresa CarreÒo theater in downtown Caracas.
The television station, incorporated as Television del Sur, C.A., is a multinational company shared by Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba and Uruguay. Today's broadcast was a first step towards the ultimate goal of covering all of the Americas, including the United States and Canada, said the Bolivarian News Agency (ABN).
The Communication and Information Ministry press office would not tell The Daily Journal if the twenty-four-hour-long test signal left Venezuela, but another ministry official confirmed that it did reach the other four countries.
The channel plans to beginning twenty-four hour coverage on July 24 and aims to provide an alternative to US and European-owned channels, Reuters reported.
The promotional video broadcast by satellite on Tuesday covered the United States' aid program in Colombia.
Telesur will devote 40 percent of its programming to journalistic pursuits such as news, interviews and documentaries, while the remainder will be dedicated to independent and regional programming.
The channel's board of directors includes Uruguayan journalist Aram RubÈn Aharonian and other professional journalists from around Latin America.
Columbia journalist Jorge Enrique Botero said that one distinguishing element of the station will be its emphasis on Latin American film, ABN reported.
Telesur's web site (www.telesurtv.net) says that another key difference will be the station's "unique discourse supported by big corporations that deliberately deny and ignore the right to information."
The web site adds also calls the channel an "alternative capable of representing the fundamental principles of authentic media: truth, justice, respect and solidarity."
JENS ERIK GOULD
Jens Erik Gould is a political, business and entertainment writer and editor who has reported from a dozen countries for media outlets including The New York Times, National Public Radio and Bloomberg News.