No more manipulation and confrontation
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Reposted from Narconews
Translated by VHeadline
"It was made abundantly clear from the disastrous image of those days of disinformation, in which the majority of employees, reporters and journalists put our lives on the line only for media owners and board members to decide not to publish anything and hide from the public the serious events that were taking place in the streets, while mainstream TV channels aired old movies as if nothing was happening. We all must assume those days of confusion, tensions, interests, and mistakes with courage and rectify with deep sincerity. No more manipulation. We workers say firmly and responsibly that we will not accept such behavior again."
- Venezuelan Media Workers Statement
Caracas, June 10, 2002
The El Nacional newspaper company has censored this communiqué and its workers have taken it upon themselves to let people know where the union stands.
Society is currently facing a crisis based on hatred and manipulation, imposed on us at will by leaders and organizations, a situation, which little by little, has led us to confrontations and intolerance on all levels and which could end in even greater ills.
As representative of the workers of the country's most important print media, our trade union feels a deep responsibility vis-a-vis all the recent events and we think it important to announce that we will no longer allow ourselves to be used as a political flag or as an instrument of confrontation.
We want to make it clear that we do not agree nor will we agree with aggressive political marches, work stoppages and strikes for political purposes.
We do not approve of distorted and intolerant news slants and are not prepared to accept misnomered leaders and organizations that allegedly represent, guide and manipulate us with their stoppages and strikes when on repeated occasions they have denied workers the legitimate right to strike for labor benefits and failed to react to dismissals of workers exercising the right to free union activity and collective bargaining discussions to improve labor conditions.
No more manipulation of media sector workers making us responsible for editorial lines. Media owners must accept that they are a force in society and for that reason have a social responsibility, not only to the workforce but also to Venezuelan society. They must understandand accept that their workers are doing our job and not working for a political project. If companies or media owners support or prefer one of the poles or groups disputing political power in Venezuela, we demand that they make it clear that it is the employer's and not the worker's position.
Print and broadcast media owners and board members: please assume your responsibility and use your power in a positive manner to create currents of opinion, behaviors and attitudes in society in general. If you really want dialogue and rectification, take a leading role to benefit everyone and intervene correctly towards achieving social peace.
Print & broadcast workers: we raise our voice as a right to be heard and to let people know what we really feel. We are responsible for what happens like every other Venezuelan. We must take a stand. We are the real majority whose support those so called leaders falsely claim. They have brought us to this confrontation. The real majority in the country just wants peace, no work stoppages, no war, and no coup d'etats.
We want to work.
That is the real majority and we media workers play an important role in channeling this sincere and optimistic message.
No more manipulations and confrontation.
We propose that the media's social commitment, journalist ethics, work relationships and work contract obligations imposed on journalists become topics for debate between company and workers to reach harmony in media circles and society in general, a debate which must be undertaken free of the heat of political militancy.
We must really be convinced that our individual and collective future is at stake and that each individual and organization must assume a quota of reflection to act positively.
We will not allow ourselves to be manipulated again.
We will not allow ourselves to used as an image of lies to propagate disinformation.
It was made abundantly clear from the disastrous image of those days of disinformation, in which the majority of employees, reporters and journalists put our lives on the line only for media owners and board members to decide not to publish anything and hide from the public the serious events that were taking place in the streets, while mainstream TV channels aired old movies as if nothing was happening.
We all must assume those days of confusion, tensions, interests, and mistakes with courage and rectify with deep sincerity. No more manipulation. We workers say firmly and responsibly that we will not accept such behavior again.
We are all responsible for what happened in April, responsible for not wanting to dialogue, for not being tolerant, and for not allowing all the voices of a pluralistic Nation access to microphones, cameras and tape recorders. We are all responsible for passively accepting editorial lines, even when they curtailed the right to truthful information. There can be no dialogue and conciliation in the country, as long as the media continue to stimulate confrontation in society. Instead of excuses, inflating and deflating situations, all of us must take on a serious dialogue that allows us to come closer and that creates consensus in which different and obvious positions in society will be respected, a dialogue based on democracy and not coup d'etats, conspiracies and confrontations.
Commitment and responsibility must start now and we must all participate in pacific and sincere change.