Journalists fear for state of freedom of expression in Bolivia

In Bolivia’s three largest cities, 92% of journalists say that freedom of expression is under threat in the county, according to May 8 survey of 200 journalists, FMBolivia reports.

Additionally, 47% of those surveyed in La PazCochabamba, and Santa Cruz believe that freedom of expression is totally or very threatened, while another 45% of reporters think it is somewhat or slightly threatened, Eju.tv adds. Only 7% believe freedom of expression is not threatened.

Between March 13 and April 11, 2011, organizers surveyed 97 journalists from print and digital media, 55 from TV, and 48 from radio. The results were published simultaneously by El Deber in Santa Cruz, Los Tiempos in Cochabamba, and Página Siete in La Paz.

According to Los Tiempos, 34% of those surveyed say that conflicts between the press and President Evo Morales’ administration have worsened, while the rest say it remains unchanged.

The attitude may reflect the fact that several Bolivian journalists are being charged with innsighting violencelibel, or violations of the new antiracism law. Others have been attacked, threatened, or even killed in a climate of increasing threats to the press.

Lastly, more than 66% of surveyed journalists say they are unhappy with the antiracism law, which has been used against the media since it was passed in 2010.

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.