"The Last Bastion"

The choice of title (what is this, Lord of the Rings?) was unfortunate, as I do not believe it is indeed the last bastion. Still, I discuss Hojillas and Globos in my latest over at the Transitions blog. (Apologies to all you curmudgeons out there, but you need to register to read it)

The value added:

The existence of critical news stations, however, does not exactly give credence to the government’s claims that all of the media are against it. The Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders have both cited Globovisión as the only remaining critical TV station in the country, pointing out that more than 50 percent of news media outlets are favorable to the government. NGOs such as Human Rights Watch concluded that “[w]hile sharp criticism of the government is still common in the print media, on the private TV station Globovisión, and in some other outlets, fear of government reprisals has made self-censorship a serious problem.”

But judging by the actions of Globovisión’s new owners, the station is now preparing to give up its role as the last line of defense for free speech. Several well-known journalists have either resigned or lost their jobs (such as Kico Bautista shown above) because of differences with the new owners. Following a decision to ban live video of opposition leader Henrique Capriles, the governor of Miranda state took to Twitter to denounce apparent links between the station’s new owners and members of the ruling clique. Massive numbers of Twitter followers began “un-following” the station. This prompted a furious communiqué from the owners in which they vowed to prevent the station from acting “like a political party,” a talking point typically used by high-ranking chavistas when criticizing the station.

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