English | News | 19 marzo 2012

Venezuelan government controls more than 500 radio stations (Noticias Clic)

The number of radio stations that the government owns or directly controls is now more than 500. All of them are directed by political officials loyal to the government’s political party and their programming is oriented toward government propaganda in support of the candidate and President Hugo Chávez.

The national chain of the National Radio of Venezuela (RNV)–which uses the slogan «With Truth Out Front»–is made up of 92 radio stations. The «information channel» has nine AM and 52 FM frequencies, which provides coverage in all urban areas in Venezuela. 30 additional AM and FM stations are technically dedicated to musical programming, though they often air political propaganda, particularly in election season.

In her article entitled «To Pulverize Matrices», the journalist Milagros Socorro provides the following statistics on the State media apparatus in Venezuela. Other unofficial pro-government media outlets are not included in these figures:

* 3 daily newspapers financed with public funds (Vea, Correo del Orinoco, Ciudad CCS), along with their online presence (check them out now and see if their pro-Chávez bias is apparent)

* 6 television channels with national broadcast signals (VTV, Vive TV, Asamblea Nacional TV, TVES y Ávila TV, Telesur)

* 4 radio stations in the YVKE Worldwide chain

* Network of para-State media outlets, made up of about 400 community radio stations, 36 community television stations and approximately 100 newspapers

* Venezuelan News Agency (AVN)

* Digital Network of the Ministry for Communication and Information, that includes websites for all State entities

* Mission 2.0: @ChavezCandanga Twitter and blog, which boasts 200 public employees

Communications analysts indicate that the Venezuelan government has also significantly increased its presence on social networks. They are also alleged to operate various other parallel organizations that intervene in Twitter and discussion forums to: 1) monitor accounts of opposition leaders; 2) add pro-Chávez content; 3) increase the number of followers for government leaders; 4) «communications guerrilla» against personal Twitter users and organizational accounts of opponents and civil society activists, including public slander and account hacking.

Socorro adds that the entire universe of media outlets that the government directly controls are subject to Venezuelan law. Article 10 of the Law for Social Responsibility on Radio, Television and Electronic Media orders that all public and private media air government public service messages free of charge, many of which can also contain political messages, or at least ones praising Chávez and government programs.

Screenshots of reports presented in State television including political propaganda for Chavez’ political party PSUV.

(Original article at Noticias Clic)

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