Ecuadorian President Correa proposes preventing private news media from interviewing public officials

By Liliana Honorato

On Saturday, June 9, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said that he is considering preventing public officials from granting interviews to for-profit, private news media, in an attempt to financing those families that own these news media outlets, reported the news agency EFE.

As Confirmado.net and the Ecuadorian NGO Fundamedios reported, the president and public officials would only give interviews with public (government-run) and and community news outlets, since it would be a "contradiction" to give interviews with those whom the president calls the "corrupt press," especially after telling Ecuadorian citizens, during late May, to boycott the private press.

To protect himself from possible criticism that this proposal may cause, President Correa said that this measure wouldn't be an attack on freedom of expression, “but an attack against the pockets of a few individuals,” reported the news outlet CRE Satelital.

In light of Correa's constant attacks on the press, on March 11, the Ecuadorian Association of Newspaper Publishers asked the president to stop his "campaigns" against the press. In addition, according to Fundamedios, the attacks against journalists and news media outlets have increased by 150 percent in Ecuador in the last four years, with the majority of the attacks coming from public officials.

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.