Ethics panel rebukes Bolivian newspaper for publishing story based on rumors

By Ingrid Bachmann

The Journalistic Ethics Tribunal of the National Press Association in Bolivia reprimanded the editor of the newspaper La Voz, in Cochabamba, for an article, based on rumors, about the supposed failure of the Banco de Crédito de Bolivia, one of the country's principal banks, reported La Prensa. The story provoked alarm and prompted a run on the bank.

According to Alberto Bailey, the tribunal president, the resolution sets a precedent in terms of self-regulation in journalism. "It is showing that the Bolivian press is mature enough for self-criticism, to examine and straighten out their work so that we have a better journalism," Bailey told Los Tiempos.

Bolivian journalist organizations and media companies oppose a law that would regulate the press, as President Evo Morales has proposed.

The La Voz editor acknowledged that the story was a mistake and said the newspaper will take appropriate measures to avoid these types of incidents.

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.