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SBD Global/March 4, 2014/Media

TV Channel Dedicated To 24-Hour Coverage Of Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial Goes On Air

Media members swarm the car carrying Oscar Pistorius outside a South African court on Monday.
A cable TV channel devoted to the murder trial of South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius "went on air in South Africa on Sunday night showing footage of the blonde model the world-famous athlete shot dead at his home a year ago," according to the AP. The video includes "footage of her playing with dolphins." The 24-hour channel began broadcasting more than 12 hours before Pistorius was expected in court for the start of his trial. Dedicated completely to the trial, "some of its early programming focused on the life of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp," the model and reality TV star "Pistorius killed on Valentine’s Day last year when he fired shots through a toilet door at his house." The channel, called “The Oscar Pistorius Trial -- A Carte Blanche channel” is on South Africa’s "most popular cable TV network." There "are some restrictions" on the live broadcasts of the trial. Testimony by Pistorius and defense witnesses "will not be shown because of objections by his defence team." Some prosecution witnesses "can also ask for their testimony not to be shown" (AP, 3/2).

NOT GUILTY PLEA: BLOOMBERG's Wild & Spillane reported the first witness heard “blood-curdling screams” from a woman in the early hours of the morning Steenkamp was shot. Pistorius "pleaded not guilty" Monday in the Pretoria High Court. Dressed in a black suit and tie, Pistorius stood as his lawyer, Barry Roux, "spelled out a case of accidental death." Roux read a statement from Pistorius in court which read, “There was no argument. I deny this allegation in the strongest terms because there was no argument” (BLOOMBERG, 3/3).

MEDIA CIRCUS: In London, Tom Peck reported the media circus outside the court "is fully formed." Satellite trucks, gazebos under which many of the world’s leading broadcast organizations have established temporary studios, and an entire set, on which construction was only finished. Pistorius’s uncle, Arnold Pistorius, who has become the family’s spokesperson, said in a statement that the family "would not be commenting on any more stories in the media" (INDEPENDENT, 3/1).
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