La hegemonía va por dentro, continued

0 the realm of State media, there’s probably no better place to explore the state of grass-roots Chavismo than the alternative news and opinion website Aporrea.

The site offers a glimpse of all the different views inside el proceso – from the most rational ones to outright paranoid conspiracists – a range that’s seldom reflected in the stultifying/stultified, slave-to-the-party-line SIBCI system.

But recently, Aporrea has also become the place where internal criticism within Chavismo is pushing back against the homogenizing drive of communicational hegemony.

One of Aporrea’s co-founders, Gonzalo Gómez has expressed some of his concerns in a recent interview with El Universal, complaining about a “growing media siege” from the State’s bureaucracy.

In his view, the State Media System (SIBCI) is only interested in promoting and defending the Maudro government.

…State media mostly focuses on the government’s agenda and what it does to achieve it. Meanwhile, anything with a hint of confrontation or scuff or discrepancy with the State’s organization or with one of its members is ignored and left out. It’s coming to be seen as inconvenient or dangerous…

…(State media) only uses the government or State view, and not the view of revolutionary people. That’s why popular movements must have our own spaces, even if bureaucrats or ministers don’t like it. State media outlets should be for us, not for bureaucrats …

Even if Aporrea is not part of SIBCI, it depends largely on State advertising, and Gómez admits there have been times where the flow ad bolivars has decreased, forcing the site to go and look for other sources of revenue, like Google Ads.

For Gómez, the State media outlet that has been closest to following Aporrea’s model has been ViVe TV (self-defined as “channel of the popular power”), but that the station has failed in that approach.

Why? This article explains how the lack of experience and technical resources, budget cuts, and the priority SIBCI gives to live government broadcasts are to blame. (It doesn’t help that ViVe’s programming often makes for an excellent treatment for insomnia.)

But it looks like Gómez is right in what he defines as the “bureaucratic media siege” and its policy of silence: Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres ordered all employees of the SAREN (which include all notaries and public registries) to avoid speaking to the press.

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  1. A este paso Wilmer Ruperti terminará comprando Aporrea por diez millones de dólares y volviéndola una página de mamis bolivarianas en bikinis rojos.

  2. To label a “bureaucratic media siege”, on account of Vz public employees being forbidden to speak to the press, is a stretch. Methinks the label is a form of media narcissism (“Ooooh, look at poor us”). For you’ll find the same caveats in public and private organizations, elsewhere around the world, especially when crises develop.

    I personally had such an experience, not in Vzla, where I was told, back in the early 80s, that I could either answer media questions, or choose to stay in my job (in a globally-based financial organization, in the private sector). I chose the latter. The reason I was being asked questions by the media had to do with the head of a trading agency where I earlier had a contract. This sociopath, who had manipulated and distorted truths to an astounding degree, had finally been caught having embezzled $300K of private and public funds. The fraud squad was on her case.

    • that could give you an idea of what is happening behind the red curtain that the they don’t want employees to tell the media, if everything were fine then such an order would be unnecessary

      • It is faulty logic to use *bureaucratic media siege* as a barometer for problems. The phrase has less to do with red curtains and more to do with businesses and governments, generally, even in the freest and best environments. These organizations do not want to be tainted by any hint of (bad) news, and for that reason, they hire people who have been trained to deal with the media. That is the appropriate channel. If the media doesn’t get its bytes, well awww shucks, that’s too bad.

        My experiences were in the early 80s. I suspect that by now, employees — at least in sensitive organizations, even in imperio-ish lands — have clauses to their contract, disallowing them to be loose cannons with the media — even in the best of times and environments.

        • in any case, what I think they mean by *bureaucratic media siege* is that the state is going to do anything they can to outlaw, discredit or run out of business any opinion of private individuals who are minimally independent as part of their hegemonic policy.

          • you are probably right for not feeling any simpathy for them, after all they have help deny or have supported the media siege against the opposition, it is likely that even if the feel persecuted they wont be against the persecution of the right, and their persecution alone will not be enough to make many of them wake up to the reality of the country.

  3. Descubriendo Agua Tibia. It’s always been this way with the government. It’s just only now that Aporrea is feeling the actual pinch that they are “seeing” the official juggernaut for what it is.

  4. personally most criticism to the regime I read in that website don’t get my hopes high, most of it just argue that the goverment is not radical enough and is complacient with the “right”, even those who try to put a trully reasonable point spend the top 90% of the article jalandole bolas a chavez and the revolution to avoid being called a traitor, lo que va por dentro es el mojón

  5. The point of this article is that the regime is becoming as fearful of internal dissent as it is now of opposition criticism , it feels it can only exist in a bubble of criticism free political asepsia , it its too fragile to withstand contamination from any kind of dissent or condemnation . Theirs is a hypochondria of political reverses !!

    • The maxim ‘follow the money’ has great worth. As such, I’d say that the *siege* felt by Gómez et al has more to do with the drying up of advertising revenues for the rag. That financial pinch, after years of largesse, is the principal cause for the associated symptoms.

  6. As I recall the great “reformation” was a rebellion of “believers” during a time in history when the Church sold “indulgences”. It was a time when the believers parted ways with the institutionalized tolerance of corruption. It’s a political dynamic, that those governments who concentrate their powers to protect themselves against political opponents, tend to be vulnerable to divisions within that lead to their destruction.


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