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Press Freedom in Venezuela Political Restraint vs Freedom of the Press.

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Presentation on theme: "Press Freedom in Venezuela Political Restraint vs Freedom of the Press."— Presentation transcript:

1 Press Freedom in Venezuela Political Restraint vs Freedom of the Press

2 In 1998 Hugo Chavez a left wing nationalist was elected as president, he won by a landslide victory and was seen as a controversial and fascinating figure by both the public and the press. He had a lot of support from the poor (about 80% of the population) and made a lot of promises to get them out of poverty and transform Venezuela.

3 Unfortunately Chavez was unable to keep his promise, and the media did not hesitate to make the public aware of this. Whenever they reported bad press about him or discontent of rule he accused the media of being paid by the opposition. In October 2001 Chavez gave a speech on channel 8, the state owned TV Channel talking about his anger towards the Americans dropping bombs on Afghanistan and innocent children dying because of it. This was not what the public wanted to here, or the American government. Hugo Chavez is not a fan of the American government. Example of why…. ent_Hugo_Chavez_accuses_US_of_backing_Hondu/ ent_Hugo_Chavez_accuses_US_of_backing_Hondu/

4 In 2002 hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans were marching against the president through the streets of Caracas. When the march drew close to the Miraflores palace witnesses reported seeing Chavez snipers fire at the crowds, killing more than 16 people. ( alexbellos) The shootings were recorded by various private news channels but the way they were broadcasted did not show what really happened. The media showed Chavez supporters shooting at the crowds, this caused outrage and the military high command forced President Chavez to resign only three years after he was elected.

5 Mr Chavez accused the US of being behind a short-lived coup that saw him removed from office for a couple of days in 2002.( america-10086210)

6 Before Hugo Chavez became president, Venezuelas community media were a persecuted form of free speech, just as in most of Latin America. Homes and offices that housed community radio stations were regularly raided and their operators often had to fear for their lives. Running a community radio or television station was a truly clandestine activity. In the hopes of getting out of this situation, community media generally supported Chavez rise to power and, in return, when he became president, community media was allowed to operate freely, largely without broadcasting permits. As a result, gradually their numbers increased. However, it was not until after the April 2002 coup attempt that community media in Venezuela came into their own. During the coup, the community media filled the gap which the private mainstream media left when it played an active role in the coup and refused to broadcast the military and popular resistance against the coup government.

7 In July 2004, a new law was ratified that regulates the work of journalists, provides for compulsory registration with the national journalism association, and punishes reporters' "illegal" conduct with prison sentences of three to six months. A Supreme Court ruling upheld censorship laws that effectively declared that laws protecting public authorities and institutions from insulting criticism were constitutional. The Law on the Social Responsibility of Radio and TV, giving the government control over the content of radio and television programs, was to go into effect in December 2005. The government does not restrict Internet access. Source: Freedom House - Freedom of the Press (2005)

8 The private media has explicitly supported the opposition, while the state media has supported the administration. Both sides have sought to de-legitimize each other, encouraging a polarized and often violent climate in many parts of the country. (,USCIS,,,42c1445 34,0.html)

9 On Monday 4 th December 2006, Hugo Chavez was re- elected, securing a third term in office.

10 Chavez continued to close down any media organisation that broadcasted anything that was critical of his office. Many Journalists have been attacked in Venezuela.

11 In 2012 Hugo Chavez was re-elected for the 4 th time on the 4 th October 2012.

12 Venezuelas media environment will remain repressive under the government of President Hugo Chávez, with tight controls and concentrated ownership of media reaching overwhelming proportions.

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