Annals of chavista headline writing


Yesterday, two opposition activists were shot dead during a rally for Henrique Capriles in Chávez’s home state of Barinas. (Another died later)

How did the international media reflect this act of campaign violence?

Reuters: “Two Venezuelan opposition activists shot dead”

AlJazeera: “Two killed in Venezuela political clash”

CNN: “2 killed as Venezuelan campaign turns violent”

BBC: “Venezuelan election: Opposition duo die at poll rally”

Really, BBC? They just … died? What, did they drown? Did they have a heart attack? Did they kill themselves? The headline writer didn’t think it was important to highlight the fact that they were shot to death?


HT: Jose Antonio

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    • Caught if for a few minutes, but then I lost the signal. Too many people accessing it at the same time. Awesome attendance! I can’t see bare street anywhere. Any estimates of the attendance?

      • thought I saw 1.7 million, also saw the rounding up to 2 million. Naturally that’s not voters, but voters and their families. I sent a few photos from here and there to Daniel, who should be posting them soon.
        Capriles hit all the essential points and then some. Loved his reading of about a dozen of Bolivarian gifts to other countries, in Bs F., one gift being clean up of the HUDSON RIVER in el imperio.
        Loved his Caracas-centric specifics on the deteriorated services, rather than just the generalized mantras. I’d say, VERY WELL DONE, HENRIQUE.

        Side note: good to see young and healthy “Progreso” (the mucuchies pup Capriles rec’d months ago) being paraded a little, before the speech. For one chavista creep had reported that the dog had died from dehydration and lack of care. (The nonsense that spews out of the minds of those who can’t attend to realities.)

  1. Do you have any proof the author is chavista or is this just professional criticism tinged with ideology? Just underneath the headline they develop that they were killed.

  2. For many of the news agencies, I am sure that if the situation were reversed, the headlines would read, “Venezuelan Opposition Mounts Genocidal Attack on Chavez Loyalists”.

  3. Honestly, whoever wrote that headline at the Beeb was probably in a hurry and didn’t really mean to offend. If it was Al Jazeera English I could see a pro-Chavez bias, but the BBC is about as professional as they get, even compared to American networks. And to be fair, they do explain they were shot and killed by alleged Chavistas.

    • Perhaps you’re not aware of how critical is the job of headline selection, where every word is measured for impact. “Whoever wrote that headline at the Beeb was probably in a hurry”? Yeah, sure.

    • “If it was Al Jazeera English I could see a pro-Chavez bias”

      I think you mean RT. Al Jazeera had decent coverage of the shootings by early this morning. To top it off they had a piece on the Chavez’ regaladera. No pro-Chavez bias that I could see.

      • Al-Jazeera tends to have a slight anti-US bias that filters into the news at times and it sometimes involves Venezuelan news, however their coverage has been good so far on this issue. Russia Today is just a joke in all respects, you’re completely right.

        As for the BBC, I’m not sure how the headline is biased. It says two (now three) persons died at an opposition rally in Barinas. It goes on to say in the story that witnesses reported a PDVSA van was used in the shooting. If they were trying to be pro-Chavez they pretty much failed miserably. I think what happens a lot of the time is that we don’t like foreign reporters coming into OUR countries and determining in fifteen seconds what their version of the truth is. However I’m more ready to ascribe it to ignorance than willing bias. For the most part I don’t think the average correspondent at the BBC cares enough to interject their bias. When they have 18 stories to complete on a deadline they usually give stories a superficial treatment which comes off as sloppy most of the time. Maybe it’s just my nature but I tend to blame carelessness or sloppy writing before I blame biased reporting.

        We can’t get too hung up on turns of phrase, media bias is usually transmitted through omission (no mention on venezuelanalysis or any outright pro-Chavez sites of Saturday’s violence) not through odd wordings. Otherwise we look like all the pro-Chavez crazies who find machinations of empire in the way certain things are worded in the ‘imperialist media’.

  4. They just fell over dead for no apparent reason. They just happened to die at an opposition rally, and there is most certainly no connection to the Chavez camp. No way.
    It’s like reading US media on politics

    • I did not find mention of the headline the CBC used in the site. Instead, there’s only a photo credit attributed to Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press. So the CBC is hiding behind the skirts of AP, when it uses an AP photo of a group of chavistas, even though the context of the *random act of violence* happened at a Capriles rally.

      Am I surprised. No. Good grief, there was the president of the CBC, Trina McQueen, back in c. 2002, in her pink Chanel suit, awarding the Banff prize to the Marxist filmmakers (from Ireland) for their “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” and gushing over its artistic merits.

      But perhaps first prize for out-of-context photography and manipulated storyline goes to the Jakarta Post, which wrote “… loyalists of both candidates faced off on a road between the communities of Barinas and Barinitas…”

      • Wow, it’s beyond obvious that CBC and the Jakarta Post both used the same AP story, the wording is identical except that the Post edited the story for length. The main problem with that AP piece is that it depends completely upon the govt for information and of course El Aissami and co. aren’t going to admit their own thugs went and shot up a march.

        One of the huge weaknesses in journalism is that events have to be confirmed. Even though we know that those chavistas were sent to the rally for the purpose of harassing and killing people on orders from the government they can’t quite say that unless they have independently confirmed it. Without confirmation of this fact (assuming the AP correspondent is even knowledgable enough on Venezuelan issues to know that these mobs don’t operate independently of the government) they simply run whatever drivel the govt decides to give them.

        Although I know for a fact that many foreign journalists do sport a leftist bias (I was interviewed by Al Jazeera English in 2009 on Manuel Zelaya and received a hostile line of questioning from their reporter after mentioning he was a git) I also remember previous chavista claims that the international media is biased against them and in favor of ‘imperialist aims’. They can’t be biased in both directions, can they?

        • “Even though we know that those chavistas were sent to the rally for the purpose of harassing and killing people on orders from the government”

          Yeah it’s too bad ‘journalism’ has things called ‘standards’ that make it so that they can’t just write what opposition wingnuts imagine to be the case without verification.


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