Steven Dudley has this to write in today’s Miami Herald about the self-censorship dynamic at play since the Media Law came into effect:
Every time journalist Ana Karina Villalba enters a Radio Mágica studio to do her afternoon show, she sits in front of a photocopy of the many provisions of Venezuela’s new media law. Whenever a guest says anything that may be interpreted as inciting violence or has sexual content, she reminds the guest of the law and its sanctions. And every time that happens, her boss reminds her that the station could be shut down.
No one has been thrown in jail or fined yet because of the 10-month-old law. But it has clearly forced the media to censor itself, especially when reporting on controversial President Hugo Chávez and his socialist policies.