Authorities shut down six Ecuadorian news media outlets in two weeks

Por Liliana Honorato

In only 15 days, four radio broadcasters and two TV channels were closed in Ecuador, reported the news agency EFE. The Ecuadorian NGO Fundamedios reported that the closed news media outlets are the TV channels Telesangay (of the province of Morona Santiago), Lidervisión (from Napo), and the radios stations El Dorado (from Sucumbíos), Líder (from Napo), Pantera (from Pichincha), and Net (from Tungurahua), reported the news paper El Comercio.

According to the newspaper La Hora, the Telecommunications Superintendent (Supertel), said that already in 2012, ,16 Ecuadorian news media outlets have been closed by the government. Although authorities say the closures are due to not following the Law of Broadcasting and Television, as well as because of technical problems, many question whether the closures have something to do with the fact that the majority of these news media outlets were critical of the government, added La Hora.

On Wednesday, June 13, Reporters Without Borders expressed concern for this wave of news media closures, saying that although authorities attribute the closures to delay in payments of fines, “for the affected radio and television representatives, it is a political reprisal.”

After the closure of the Radio Cosmopolita de Quito on Monday, June 11, head of Supertel Fabián Jaramillo said that 20 more broadcasters will probably be closed for not paying fines and other reasons, reported the newspaper El Diario.

Fundamedios defines these news media outlet closures as a “news media hunt,” which attacks freedom of information, reported El Comercio.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.