On the brink of Newsprint-geddon

These newsprint reels sold to El Impulso by the government would give the paper a few more days.

Barquisimeto’s main newspaper El Impulso informed its readers via an editorial last week that they would be forced to stop publishing, because their reserves of newsprint were simply insufficient to keep working.

Earlier this year they faced the same situation, but got a brief lifeline through CADIVI. During this time, they held on thanks to a dramatic reduction in the number of pages and the solidarity of our Colombian neighbors.

But El Impulso isn’t alone: Guayana’s Correo del Caroni, San Cristobal’s La Nacion and Maracay’s El Siglo recently announced that they would reduce their page numbers in order to keep publishing. The crisis has been affecting most Venezuelan newspapers for more than a year now.

The lack of access to currency isn’t the only thing to blame here, as the government has assumed more direct control over the import and distribution of newsprint. The Alfredo Maneiro Editorial Corporation (which is in charge of publishing State-owned papers and publications) is now selling it directly to newspapers themselves. In the end, they gave El Impulso 24 reels, so they could remain active for the next two weeks.

But this temporary stopgap doesn’t change much. Newsprint-geddon is just around the corner, and the communicational hegemony is using it as a way to control the flow of information and opinion (with a little help of their HegemonCorp. friends). As many independent papers are felling the pinch, Nicolas Maduro gave the green light to two new papers, one of them for the State party the PSUV.

Surely they won’t have problems getting their newsprint.