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Colombia TV Says No More Color Gore

August 28, 1999

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ Colombian television stations say they will broadcast news about the country’s civil war exclusively in black and white in an effort to discourage violence.

``It’s a symbolic gesture, because the content and the news will be just as dramatic″ Felipe Zuleta, director of the Hora Zero nightly news show, told The Associated Press.

All 33 national and local news shows are participating in the initiative, to take effect Sept. 1, Zuleta said Friday. He predicted it would highlight the Colombian people’s obsession with violence.

``We’ll realize we devote half our lives to this war,″ he said.

If the stations continue to devote the same air time to news about Colombia’s nearly four-decade-old civil conflict, roughly half of each broadcast would be in black and white, Zuleta said.

Advertisements with the slogan ``No More″ superimposed on black-and-white scenes of combat and fleeing refugees began airing this week.

Jorge Hernandez, president of the federal National Television Commission that regulates the broadcast media, said the agency has received more than 200 viewer complaints this year about war coverage, which regularly has include close-ups in morgues and reporters sticking microphones in the faces of the victims’ relatives.

Now, the media have ``found a means of self-control,″ Hernandez said.

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