Politicising the Venezuelan press
Posted: Friday, January 24, 2003
From Trinidad and Tobago
THE EDITOR: One Venezuelan demonstrating outside of the Venezuelan Embassy recently, Ms Beatrice Joseph, accused the TT media, quite unjustifiably, of not reporting the events in Venezuela adequately.
On the other hand independent journalists who have visited Venezuela during the current strike have commented on the overt and subtle anti-government propaganda twists contained in reports issued by both the privately-owned Venezuelan and foreign media houses in respect of both the current imbroglio as well as during the aborted April 12 coup attempt.
The privately owned Venezuela media houses have joined forces with the power-hungry Opposition to subvert the democratically elected Government of social reformist and populist President Hugo Chavez Frias.
The private press has in fact unashamedly politicised itself using recognised press freedoms as a licence to subvert the democratic process.
Objective and disinterested reporting has been abandoned.
Deliberate fabrications as well as false, misleading and sensational reporting are intended to fuel the instability, promote chaos and bring the Chavez regime to its knees. A virtual media blockade has been instituted against pro-government’s demonstrations/positions.
In fact the foreign news outfits such as CNN, New York Times, Reuters and AP have been branded the Four Horsemen of Simulation. Only commercials supportive of the Opposition strike action are being aired. The only antidote to counteract the waves of misinformation and innuendoes is the small private independent media and the on-line journalism that has been dubbed "authentic journalism."
Such has been the unbearable extent of private media manipulation and collusion with the Opposition that Chavistas have in fact mounted violent protest action against maverick, offending television stations.
The President has threatened to revoke further television licences (Newsday Jan 14, p26) as he had done previously after the botched up coup attempt of April last.
How can the internal political and economic situation prevailing in Venezuela be projected by the Press as being so explosively unstable and yet President Chavez can see it safe to travel to Brazil, Ecuador and the UN in New York within the last two weeks?