NEW CALEDONIA NEWS

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Monday, September 13, 1999
PINA Nius Online

RFO-RADIO BECOMES RADIO NOUVELLE-CALÉDONIE

NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (September 13, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---Réseau France Outremer (RFO)-Nouvelle-Calédonie on Monday changed its name to Radio-Nouvelle-Calédonie, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reports.

The radio service, which is part of the Global Ten-French territories network, has also changed its programs, distancing the station from its longtime metropolitan France image to one that is more Pacific oriented.

The new format includes more Pacific islands-style music on the play list.

Later this year, regional-oriented current affairs program also will be produced, new program manager Pascal Guirec said.

RFO’ television branch became Télé Nouvelle Calédonie on March 1st.

The move, which in the Pacific also applies to France’ other two territories, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna, is part of a strategy announced earlier this year by RFO’s Paris-based Director of International Relations, New Caledonian-born Walles Kotra. He is promoting "country television," involving a more region-oriented perspective.

FRANCE’S MEDIA COUNCIL ORDERS UNION-MUZZLED CURRENT AFFAIRS PROGRAM BACK ON AIR

NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (September 13, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---French Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisual (CSA, France’s media council) President Hervé Bourges has ruled that a live current affairs television program, which was not allowed to go on air due to a sudden strike within New Caledonian TV, be rescheduled, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reports.

The show was supposed to have hosted small and medium businesses union leader Claude Descombels, who was to have expressed views about the recent spate of industrial actions in the French Territory, crippling the local economy.

But minutes before going on the air live, the program was shut down by USTKE union cameramen and sound engineers within the Réseau France Outremer (RFO) TV station.

It had to be replaced by a recorded substitute program.

In a letter sent September 8 to New Caledonia’s President Jean Lèques, Bourges noted the program "couldn’t be aired on September 2 due to actions by USTKE union supporters."

The council confirmed with RFO’s head office in Paris that the program "would be rescheduled under the conditions initially set out, in order to allow Mr. Descombels to express himself."

The French CSA, which rules on all French media matters, received an official complaint from President Lèques immediately after the September 2 incident.

FRENCH YOUTH AND SPORTS MINISTER IN NEW CALEDONIA ON HER WAY TO SYDNEY

NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (September 13, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---France’s Youth and Sports Minister, Marie-George Buffet, is to visit New Caledonia briefly on Tuesday, on her way to Australia, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reports.

Buffet, who is to fly to Sydney on Wednesday, will spend thirty hours in New Caledonia, during which time she will visit the main sports facilities in Nouméa and other parts of the territory. She also is to meet New Caledonia’s President, Jean Lèques, to discuss the territory's preparations for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Her main focus, however, is Sydney, where she will meet the Olympics organizing committee members and Australian government officials to discuss France's participation in next year’s global sports event.

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