Valencia’s newspaper El Carabobeño could be the newest victim of what I call as”Newsprint-geddon”, the ongoing (and quite deliberate) shortage of newsprint for publishing.
The paper informed their readers on Sunday that their reserves consist of only enough print for nine days and that they have requested the CEAM (the State’s company in charge on selling newsprint) for more, but so far the paper hasn’t gotten any response.
El Carabobeño said that the CEAM previously sold them just minimum amounts to get by. As a direct consequence, the paper reduced its Monday-to-Saturday edition from 48 to 32 pages.
This happens more than one month after El Carabobeño announced a change of format (from broadsheet to tabloid), but also reaffirmed this commitment to its editorial line, all the while publicly denouncing HegemonCorp. and what it really represents. Here’s a key passage of the editorial, titled “Everything evolves, so do we”:
We know how certain leaders act: They place fines, deny access to newsprint and then, some figurehead appears with his offer. This has happened nationwide, but it has also occurred in these Carabobo lands…
Whomever dedicates themselves to the business of communication bravely assumes a great commitment. It’s not just any other industry that can succumb and then sold to the one chosen by the ruler. To compromise in the editorial line and to lie in order to satisfy a regime would be not just an unforgivable betrayal to the memory of our founder (Eladio Alemán Sucre), but an affront to the people who are avid for truth.”
This editorial was published a couple of weeks after Notitarde (the other big Valencia newspaper) was sold to the owner of a major hotel in the city, who openly admitted talks with the central government regarding the newsprint issue. And as recent evidence shows, Notitarde has now become HegemonCorp.’s representative in the region.
Will El Carabobeño be the next victim of Newsprint-geddon? We’ll find out soon enough…
UPDATE: Two days after the news broke, Hugo Cabezas, head of the Maneiro Editorial Complex (CEAM) spoke with Daniel Aleman (member of the paper’s board) and commit himself to find “a constant supply of newsprint” for El Carabobeño. But still, there was a contingency plan in place that included the sacrifice of its Sunday magazine.