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MacNEIL/LEHRER APARTHEID SPECIAL

February 11, 1986|CLARKE TAYLOR

NEW YORK — The "MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" has produced its first special documentary report, "Apartheid's People," for public television stations.

The one-hour program, scheduled to air in Los Angeles Feb. 26 at 10 p.m. on KCET Channel 28, comes at a time when government-imposed restrictions makes television coverage of South Africa extremely difficult.

The documentary is a compilation of five reports from South Africa seen on the regular "NewsHour" broadcasts during the last week of October, plus updates by its national correspondent, Charlayne Hunter-Gault. She spent several weeks in South Africa and filed the taped reports, focusing on the effects of apartheid on day-to-day life there.

Additional footage for the expanded program focuses on the kind of violent confrontations between South African authorities and civilian demonstrators that are thought to have brought about the current restrictions on TV coverage there.

"MacNeil/Lehrer" previously provided public TV stations with a one-hour interview between anchor Robert MacNeil and Cuba's Fidel Castro, combined from individual broadcast segments, and produced special reports during the 1984 presidential election. However, "Apartheid's People" marks the first in what is projected to be an ongoing use of "NewsHour" material "in a broader context."

According to a "NewsHour" spokesman, Christopher Ramsey, "This is a direction we definitely plan to explore, since we have a unique ability to cover the news (for one hour each night) in depth."

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