HL CNN Convention Draws World's Broadcasting Elite
Byline: Phil Kloer Staff Writer
SO ATLANTA JOURNAL AND CONSTITUTION (ATJC)
Section: LOCAL NEWS
LP It's not the largest convention ever held in Atlanta - in fact, it's one of the smallest - but this week's CNN World Report Contributors Conference has gathered together one of the most influential groups of people since last summer's Democratic National Convention. The 180 delegates meeting at The Omni through today are news producers and broadcast organization heads from more than 80 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, including the United States, the Soviet Union, China and most of Europe. The broadcasters contribute news stories to "CNN World Report," which airs at 3 p.m. and midnight Sundays, and then run the report in their own countries.
TX Speakers have included former President Jimmy Carter, the Rev. * Jesse L. Jackson, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, the executive producer of the Soviet nightly news, and the anchorman for China's news. "I have a Bible in my hotel room and it says that once all people spoke one language, but that we lost that," said Alexandre Gurnov, senior editor of television news for the Soviet broadcasting system, Gosteleradio. "I feel that now we're developing a common language," he continued. "It's the language of information, of truth." Even though the conference, the first of its kind, primarily emphasized international unity and a spirit of cooperation, there were squabbles reflecting the different ideologies present. On Thursday, Danylo Sirio Lopez, director-general of Cubavision TV, got into a heated public argument with Richard Carlson, director of the Voice of America, which beams Radio Marti to Cuba. Radio Marti presents the U.S. government's view of the world, and Mr. Lopez said the station is a "violation of the rules of the game of communication." "The fact is they don't like what we're saying," Mr. Carlson responded. On Friday, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot representatives clashed in what was the equivalent of a fight over delegate credentials at a U.S. political convention. At a session that was supposed to be about how news segments are fed to CNN headquarters in Atlanta, the two men swapped charges over whether the Turkish Cypriot station should be represented at the conference while Ted Turner sat in the back of the room gleefully exclaiming "This is great! Let them be heard. This is what `World Report' is all about!" "CNN World Report" premiered on Oct. 25, 1987. The segments sent in by the broadcasters are not censored or edited by CNN, and range from hard news such as riots, terrorism and elections to features on culture and lifestyle. "There was a concern at first that we would be a sounding board for propaganda," said "World Report" anchor Ralph Wenge, because many of the broadcasters are controlled by countries with strong ideological biases. "That hasn't happened," Mr. Wenge said. Mr. Turner said he started the program to give CNN a variety of perspectives and reports it could not otherwise get. "We send American reporters out only when there's a catastrophe of some sort. That's all they cover." Mr. Turner said CNN does not look at each program as to whether or not it is profitable. "Certainly it's an additional expense and a significant one," he said. "It would be far easier just to re-run something else." Mr. Turner said the conference might become an annual event, but would be held somewhere other than in Atlanta in future years. A team of 20 translators were used for the delegates, and portable radio-like devices offered simultaneous translations of the speakers into English, Russian, Chinese, French and German. @Art / Notes: The last two paragraphs did not appear in the final edition.
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