SOLOMONS FIRST EVER TELEVISION STATION OPENS IN HONIARA

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (March 29, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The first ever television station in the Solomon Islands has been opened by the country's Prime Minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, in the capital, Honiara.

The station has been set up by an American Christian Television company, Eternity Broadcasting Network, in partnership with some locals.

This report from Radio Australia’s Dorothy Wickham in Honiara.

"Speaking at the opening, Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza said the station would provide Christian and family programs that Solomon Islanders need.

"He said the station has taken into consideration the needs of those in the provinces because it will cover most of the country.

"Sir Allan said it is heartening to know that some people are concerned about the spiritual welfare of Solomon Islanders, especially at this time of social and economic hardship faced by the country.

"Dorothy Wickham, Radio Australia News, Honiara."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

 

SOLOMONS TV BOARD CONCERNED OVER ARRIVAL OF AMERICAN CHURCH STATION

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (March 28, 2002 - SIBC/PINA Nius Online)--The Solomon Islands Television Board is holding an urgent meeting to discuss how a religious TV station is starting operations without the board approving a license.

The Eternity Broadcasting Network -- with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alex Bartlett as chairperson -- opened its operations this afternoon in Honiara.

It is understood to have applied for a TV license towards the end of last year, proposing to relay programs from the United States-based religious Trinity Broadcasting Network.

SIBC understands that the TV Board discussed the application at several meetings and agreed to get more information before making a decision.

Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza opened the new station.

The growing influence of American Christian radio and TV stations in the Pacific Islands is of concern to some local mainstream churches. There also are concerns about the fund raising by some American Christian broadcasters.

The Eternity Broadcasting Network is described as an interdenominational registered charitable trust in the Solomon Island operating the station on behalf of all Christian churches in the country.

Project Manager Owen Sunnex said it will operate 24 hours a day, with viewers able to watch American Christian programs.

There may also be limited times when scheduling would permit the insertion of local information, he said.

For additional reports from the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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