What happened inside Cadena Capriles?, by @TamoaC

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    Journalist Tamoa Calzadilla, the former head of Cadena Capriles’ Investigative Unit

    Two weeks ago, this blog reported about the open case of censorship at Ultimas Noticias, Venezuela’s most popular newspaper, and the protest of their journalist staff. The stand-off ended with the resignation of Tamoa Calzadilla, the head of its investigative journalism unit.

    Now, Calzadilla has decided to tell the entire story of all the changes inside the holding company that owned Últimas Noticias, Cadena Capriles (CC), ever since it was bought last year. To this day, public details about the group’s new owner(s) are shrouded in deep mystery.

    In her account, she explains the important role of Ultimas Noticias’ director Eleazar Diaz Rangel, along with the fact that people involved with chavismo were brought into CC’s staff. These include former PSUV deputy and head of State Radio (RNV) Desiré Santos Amaral and the former governor of Anzoátegui, David D’Lima, the recently named chairman of CC.

    Calzadilla’s tale shows in full detail how the government and CC’s new ownership have tried to change the editorial line of CC’s papers (especially Ultimas Noticias) to get close to the communicational hegemony’s agenda. And in exchange for that, they’re getting their special reward.

    Her chronicle is well worth the read, but I would like to share her reason to go public with this story:

    If I’m making this story public is so people find out of the current situation inside the country’s media outlets, where many valuable and persevering workers fight every day to make things better. I’ve seen journalists swallow their own tears because of their director’s refusal to publish something on the front page. I’ve also seen human rights violations claims compiled by (NGO) Penal Forum pushed aside from the front page in favor of the official version which minimizes them. I’ve seen people getting mad after being defeated, and sitting down again to fight on, to investigate. I’ve seen assemblies where journalists upheld the Ethical Code allowing them to participate in the (media oultet’s) editorial line. I’ve shared with others the dissapointment for headlines that are not news, but rather flattery for a government that, by the way, never feels satisfied…

    Journalism is done with transparency or it’s never done at all… Journalism comes first.”

     

    Ms. Calzadilla, you’re right. Thanks for sharing your experience and good luck. #ElPeriodismoPrimero

    1 COMMENT

      • Tamoa Presidente! Y EDR queda no tanto como un comunista recalcitrante sino como un pusilánime y un oportunista que es aún peor.

    1. What is there to be said about this? This is how chavismo operates, in a disgraceful way. Congratulations to Miss Calzadilla, who puts ethics at first place.

    2. The fact that she’s saying all that while still living so close to the monster just makes her courage even more admirable. Good job! That’s the kind of people Venezuela desperately needs to tumble this sad dictatorship.

    3. What I like about the write-up is that it gives you a sense of the newsroom dynamics, of how people are fighting, of the day-to-day struggle by folk who still believe in journalism.

      It also paints Diaz Rangel in an extraordinary repugnant light. You can see Tamoa fighting her own conclusions, you can see a partnership developed over years coming apart over his refusal to stand up for what, deep down, he knows is right.

      You can see her grief run through the whole text.

      It’s a remarkable document. In my Venezuela, first year comunicación social students would be made to study it in detail.

      I have the biggest lump in my throat having just read it again.

    4. My emotional health needs some news to cheer me up. This is a noble story of how another free voice was snuffed from Venezuela. This is how my scorecard looks:

      – Leopoldo Lopez, Enzo Scarano, and Daniel Ceballos in jail.
      -Maria Corina Machado out of congress.
      -All powers concentrated and rubbers stamped by kangaroo courts.
      -People in the streets victims of repression, violence, torture and death (San Cristobal, here they come!)
      -Capriles and anyone else, in precarious situation, one step away from losing their post or going to jail.
      -Elections years away with a compromised electoral system.
      -People leaving or planning to leave in whichever way they can, i.e. brain drain, or more aptly brain hemorrhage.
      -Chavistas sticking together, not one ‘talanquera’ jump. Do they have a soul?
      -Middle class political protest alienating from the popular sectors.

      Venezuela seems ready to join the dubious club of Zimbabwe, Iran, and Cuba.

      • “Venezuela seems ready to join the dubious club of Zimbabwe, Iran, and Cuba.”

        Yes. As an outsider I can clearly see the efforts being made to enslave the Venezuelan people with the utopist sounding jargon of Socialism.. However, I perceive that many citizens are shell shocked and suffering disbelief upon comprehending the hidden agenda of the Chavez Socialist movement. You must quickly understand what is happening to your brave country and its proud people and stop it before it is too late.

    5. The same story over and over… PDVSA, RCTV, SIDOR, 102.3FM, Globovision, UN… people resign or get fired, emigrates or pela bolas locally, while hundreds brown nosers are desperate to take your place…

      • And then is a complete mystery why those institutions stop working.

        Turns out that people that choose to brown nose to get ahead are awful at their jobs.

    6. Anyone care to give Maduro a piece of your mind, he has an op-ed in the New York Times. I am sure he wrote all of it.

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