Communicational hegemony, meet the regional papers

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versionfinal
From now on, a HegemonCorp. company

Maracaibo newspaper Versión Final has been facing difficult times: due to the lack of foreign currency, they ran out of newsprint and were forced to suspend operations for several weeks.

The paper returned in mid-August, but still its precarious situation allowed the Communicational Hegemon to make its move: a businessman close to Zulia State Governor Francisco Arias Cárdenas has now bought Versión Final.

The newspaper will carry on, but it will change its name (to Correo del Lago) and its editorial line to pro-government, while several of its staff members are been let go. It’s the maracucho print version of the Globovision takeover.

The situation of regional newspapers around the country is becoming critical: Both the lack of access to newsprint (and the currency to buy it) and the pressure of regional Chavista governments (e.g., in Barinas State) are forcing them to either toe the official line or shut down. Five local newspapers have already stopped publishing, while others could be forced to do the same in the next few weeks.

Another form of pressure against papers comes from the courts: Coro’s La Mañana and Guayana’s Correo del Caroní are now fighting lawsuits. In the case of the latter, the court imposed a gag order to stop publishing news related to the Ferrominera corruption case.

The logic of communicational hegemony is relentless.

1 COMMENT

  1. How many independent media outlets – indeed, how many outlets at all at all – are there in the template, Cuba? This was to be expected.

    • It’s the combination of these two things that is really scary. I’ll bet the fair price policy sounds really patriotic to folks who won’t hear pushback.

      • I suspect that for the last few years international sales of govt produced commodities by Officials now accused of having engaged in corrupt practices probably involved the sale of those commodities to international ‘intermediaries’ at a below market price ( against payment of a kickback ) .

        If this is the case , and the govt feels it has no control over sales made by people they dont really trust , it will out of ignorance over react and treat every deal as a potential crime and insist on trading policies which are overly riguid and uncommercial .

        Remember some years back meeting a gentleman who to judge from how he talked knew more about selling and buying cattle in Maracaibo than about international oil trading who boasted of having a deal with Pdvsa at a preferred price and three london oil brokers lined up to buy the Pdvsa shipments from him as soon as they were delivered to his ‘company’.

        A well organized company engaged in the routine marketing of bulk shipments usually develops a stable customer base which allows it to bypass the added transaccion cost of using intermediaries or brokers . Of course most govt companies nowadays are not well organized !!

    • Just because you spend $700 making something doesn’t mean it is worth $700.

      This is the eternal problem of communist economies. It’s telling that instead of paying attention to this valuable signal – HEY MADURO, YOU ARE SPENDING MORE MAKING THESE PRODUCTS THAN THEY ARE WORTH – the government is ignoring this important data and insisting reality change to fit their whims.

      Perhaps when everything is rusted and junked China will come in and develop what is left into downstream suppliers for Chinese industry.

  2. Equally depressing is the fact that the regime goes largely unpunished in the court of public opinion as this slow strangulation of the press goes on. In fact, as a matter of policy, killing the press appears to be one of the few things the regime does successfully i.e. it is perfectly calibrated and timed, these actions are cleverly executed, and the evidence suggests they have the desired outcome in terms of controlling public opinion.

  3. I can confirm other local newspapers are having serious problems – they just don’t get enough dollars to buy raw paper, apart from the other problems mentioned here. The situation is critical in Eastern Venezuela as well. There is virtually no critical newspaper in the Llanos area and the newspapers of Greater Valencia (what others call Carabobo + Aragua) is bad. This is something that the international community has no idea about.

  4. Wasn’t Correo del Caroni backed up by the gov and run by that so-called journalist (and veritable opportunist) Eve Golinger?

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