Venezuela's presidential election will take place next Sunday, Oct. 7. In this period of the campaign, the media landscape in the country is polarized between supporters of President Hugo Chávez and opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. An analysis from BBC revealed that while the Venezuelan government has built a media empire of five public broadcasters, the state-run channels have only a slim 5.4 percent of the audience share, according to an investigation by AGB Panamericana.
The newspaper Diário de Natal, which circulates in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, announced the end of its print edition on Tuesday, Oct. 2, reported the news website No Minuto. In a statement, the newspaper's management said the newspaper would transition to an online-only format and that it would "prioritize and amplify the electronic version."
A journalist from Ecuador was threatened by two men who burst into his newsroom on Sept. 23, reported the Ecuadorian NGO Fundamedios. Reporter Alejandro Escudero works for the weekly Independiente in the city of Nueva Loja, a northeastern province in Sucumbíos, the organization said.
A Colombian journalist claimed that criminal gangs he reported on were planning to kill him, reported the newspaper El Meridiano de Sucre.
A Guatemalan columnist received death threats against her and her family after denouncing the sexual abuse of girls in a cotton plantation, Cerigua reported.
The Information Safety bill that is currently being considered by Panama’s National Assembly could represent a threat to freedom of expression in that country, according to several journalists’ unions and associations, the newspaper La Estrella reported.
Documents found by police in Nicaragua contain the name of a top executive with Mexico’s media giant Televisa in a recent money laundering scandal involving the two countries, according to the radio network Noticias MVS.
The United States and Cuba are at opposite extremes of Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net 2012 report. According to the New York-based organization, the United States was ranked the second most “free” country in the world for online expression, while Cuba was listed as the second to worst.
Police arrested a Mexican journalist for recording a confrontation after an election from the window of his hotel room in the city of Motozintla, Chiapas, near the Guatemalan border, reported the news agency ANSA.
Brazilian reporter Patrícia Cornils got a surprising response after sharing on Facebook a Google Docs worksheet listing fires in the favelas of São Paulo. Several people joined the collaborative reporting project that became Fogo no Barraco (Fire in the Shanty), an interactive map that cross references data on fires with real estate appreciation near the affected areas. The map demonstrates the journalistic possibilities of online collaboration and crowdsourcing information.
Ecuador's Electoral Court (TCE in Spanish) sentenced a magazine to pay $80,000 for publishing an editorial on Sept. 26, reported the newspaper El Universo.
Costa Rica’s oldest English-language newspaper, The Tico Times, announced on its website that it would stop publishing its print edition as of Friday, Sept. 28. The Associated Press reported that the 56-year-old newspaper laid off its entire 16-person staff on Tuesday, Sept. 25, and will restructure its business into an online-only publication.