Fundamedios calls for civility as tensions rise between State-run and private media

The Ecuadorian media organization Fundamedios called for greater tolerance and mutual respect between state and private media in the Andean country, the group said on its website. According to Fundamedios, the polarized climate in which journalists practice their craft contributes to verbal abuse and insults between reporters.

The organization's call for civility followed several verbal exchanges between journalist Janet Hinostroza and Orlando Pérez, director of the State-run newspaper El Telégrafo following the broadcast of the documentary "The Generation of the Revolution."

According to statements El Telégrafo made on radio Visión, Hinostroza called the documentary and its filmmakers "deluded" and said President Rafael Correa's administration used them for its own ends. One of the filmmakers, Jonás Bravo, shot back that Hinostroza "doesn't do journalism, she does politics," leading her to tweet, "You are by law a son, nephew or close relative of the Bravos who work at SECOM (Ecuadorian National Secretariat of Communications), you are not a 'new generation,' you have interests."

Orlando Pérez published an article titled "Hinostroza violates the 'law' of journalism," in which he accused the journalist of breaking a basic tenant of journalism, to not generalize, in response to her comment that "the most mediocre of the mediorce work in public media." That same day, he published another article, "Film 'inflames' opposition journalists," saying the journalist insulted Jonás Bravo.

According to Fundamedios, Hinostroza had reservations that public media dedicated space to "complain" about a journalist's opinion. She said that the State newspaper generalized her statements, clarifying her statement as "some mediocre journalists are working in public media." Regarding the offending tweets, Hinostroza said the newspaper did not published  all of the relevant tweets, including why she thought the film did not properly verify the facts presented.

Last September, Hinstroza resigned from her television program on Teleamazonas after she received threats for broadcasting an investigation accusing the president's cousin of irregularities.

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.