Journalists feel muzzle in Venezuela

Written by  //  December 21, 2007  //  Americas, Media  //  1 Comment

By Oscar Avila Chicago Tribune
December 21, 2007
Only 1 TV station survives to criticize, but for how long?
CARACAS, Venezuela – The reporters at Globovision, the only remaining broadcast television station routinely critical of the Venezuelan government, work behind a towering wall and barbed wire. Just in case.
Someone once threw an explosive device at their office, and an angry mob loyal to President Hugo Chavez recently surrounded the facility to protest coverage.
But the staff’s biggest fear is that Chavez, the leftist leader who preaches revolution, will follow through on his threat to take them off the airwaves, as he did with the equally critical Radio Caracas Television seven months ago.
Chavez often calls Globovision’s president and other independent journalists “golpistas” — coup plotters. Press advocates fear that it is only a matter of time until Chavez enforces a 2005 law that can punish journalists for inciting “breaches of public order.”
Some journalists have responded with self-censorship, pulling opinion programming that might upset Chavez. Others, including Globovision, have taken the opposite approach, giving a disproportionate share of airtime to opposition leaders.
The result — a polarized media that echoes and sometimes fuels the divisions in Venezuelan society — is far from healthy at a time when the oil-producing nation has just gone through a constitutional referendum that put its democratic institutions to a severe test, according to several journalists and media experts. More

One Comment on "Journalists feel muzzle in Venezuela"

  1. Magbana December 21, 2007 at 12:25 pm · Reply

    This is recycled propaganda about the media situation in Venezuela. RCTV did not get whacked because of its treasonous actions during the 2002 coup and neither will Globovision be punished for similar treaonous acts. Venezuela has one government station
    and the rest are private. This article is plain character assassination. If you want to understand the phenomenon better see: “Venezuela: “US Latino Journalists Doing the White Man’s Bidding

    As always, we are pleased to publish contrary views. For those who wish to know more about the raison d’être of hcva (Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela Analysis), we suggest consulting the organization’s website

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