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Last updated at 16:42 GMT, Monday, 17 January 2011

Newspaper launch delayed in South Africa

Summary

20 October 2010

The launch of a new newspaper in South Africa has been postponed after five of its senior editors resigned. The New Age was meant to be launched on 20th October 2010 but the departure of these senior staff has delayed publication.

Reporter:
Karen Allen

Johannesburg skyline

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Billboards around South Africa's largest city, Johannesburg, proclaimed the imminent arrival of a new newspaper, The New Age, promising more positive news, but the eleventh hour resignation of top editors has scuppered Wednesday's launch.

Senior staff issued a statement saying that it would not be proper nor professional to speak out about the reasons for standing down, but it's understood disagreements between management and staff about editorial content may be behind the move.

The newspaper's funders, the Gupta Group, have close links to the ruling party, the ANC, and President Jacob Zuma. The paper's aborted launch comes just a day after hundreds of protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against tough new laws being considered in parliament, which would severely restrict journalists' access to information, information which is currently in the public domain.

Karen Allen, BBC News, Johannesburg

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Vocabulary

billboards

large advertising signs or posters

proclaimed

declared

imminent

forthcoming or about to happen

eleventh hour resignation

quit at the last minute

scuppered

wrecked or spoiled

behind the move

responsible for what happened

aborted

abandoned

demonstrate

protest or object

parliament

group of elected people who govern a country and make new laws

in the public domain

available or accessible to the ordinary person

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