It's the easy way or the CONATEL way


kzodpyvbm6xcnilqutjsMaracaibo-based TV channel Americana de Televisión (ATEL) is not your typical local TV station. Since its foundation ten years ago, ATEL can be only seen by cable and satellite services.

But early this month, there was a press report indicating the channel was close to shutting down because of debts, and because its owners were in negotiations with a group from Caracas.

Except that the folks of CONATEL don’t approve.

The Venezuelan broadcasting authority legally has the final word in all matters regarding media ownership, and they can simply veto the operation. In this case, they made clear their opposition by ordering all cable and satellite carriers to take ATEL off the air.

Why such drastic action? ATEL’s chairman Ricardo Bravo believes the government is pressuring the station to stop its sale to Grupo 6to Poder, owner of the newspaper of the same name. In a press statement, the group admitted there were already talks between both parts underway for months but that no final agreement has been reached yet.

Almost six years after RCTV’s shutdown (a case to be soon reviewed by the Inter-American Human Rights Court), the communicational hegemony has shifted its approach to take control of private media outlets. The “forced intention to sell” recently seen in the case of Globovision is the clearest example of that, and now its effects are pretty visible.

Perhaps CONATEL wants all media owners to be just like Venevision’s Carlos Bardasano.

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  1. Los nuevos dueños de Globovisión revelaron la nueva orientación del canal apenas salieron de la reunión con Maduro. Poco a poco van cercando a los medios. Será un poco más difícil con los impresos y los portales de noticias, pero el cerco económico los obligará a ceder. Nos quedarán las redes sociales. Vamos hacia un modelo chino con muchas barreras y firewalls en Internet. Pronto buscar en Google desde Venezuela las palabras “papel toilet” no dará ningún resultado.

  2. A couple of ideas regarding media: I don’t believe it is any difficult for the goverment to shut down a local channel, most people wont even find out and the public’s favorite seems to be VV even before VTV, so all other channels being close would not have major effects on masses.

    We are yet to see the changes on GV though. Goverment has still not enforced anything on that front. If they continue to close channels as Rouge Alevre said our only hope is to rely in the characterization of venezuelans as a media active crow. And finally,

  3. In the days of the old Soviet Union they had one national newspaper named Pravda (which means “Truth”) and one news agency named Tass (which means “News”). The running joke was that “There is no ‘Tass’ in ‘Pravda’, and no ‘Pravda’ in ‘Tass'”.

    If the regime has its way, and achieves “communicational hegemony” that is sort of world Venezuela will live in. Has anyone ever actually read “Granma”?

    • It’s Izvestia, Roy. TASS is the news agency.

      And on a serious note:

      Venezuelan opposition needs to go to the people in places where Madurismo might still have the majority and explain how we are lagging behind so many parameters compared to Brazil, Chile, even Colombia. Tell them about security there (yeah, even in Colombia), about food availability, about accountability. Show a reference. Most Venezuelans haven’t been abroad and most Venezuelans are not used to looking beyond their noses.
      Why aren’t there blackouts in Chile? Why can Brazilians and gringos buy as much toilet paper as they want? Why is the murder rate in all those countries much lower than in Venezuela? Why?
      The government is closing down critical media. We need to use old methods, not just social media. Use flyers around every bus terminal in Venezuela. Build networks of communicators across the nation with a certain amount of critical facts people need to know.


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