Interior minister blames media for violence in Mexico; "Nonsense!" journalists reply

Mexico's interior minister, Fernando Gómez Mont, demanded the press act responsibly, insisting that the violence prevailing in the country is caused by information spread by the media, El Universal and El Economista report.

Sale of Chilean president's TV channel fails

A disagreement over a TV signal concession has ended President Sebastián Piñera’s attempt to sell Chilevisión to a domestic investment firm for $130 million, La Tercera and EFE report. (See this Reuters article in English.)

TV commentator survives shooting in Dominican Rep.; attack was allegedly planned from prison

José Jordy Veras Rodríguez, an attorney who appears regularly on the "Mañana Boreal" morning TV program on the privately owned Channel 25, was shot when he arrived at the station’s parking lot this week in Santiago de los Caballeros, the country’s second largest city. He was recovering in a local hospital, with heavily armed guards stationed outside the room, Listín Diario and El Nacional report. (See this report in English by Reporters Without Borders.)

Transparency confronts new obstacles to information access in Mexico

Something is wrong with access to information if the body responsible for overseeing the law that protects information access in a country asks the government to clearly state that it doesn't intend to impede transparency. This is what has happened in Mexico, where the Federal Institute of Information Access (IFAI) called on the Secretary of Government to ratify that lack of transparency and accountability will not be reinstated, reported El Universal and La Jornada.

Brazilian journalists exchange views of online news at seminar in São Paulo

More than 100 Brazilian journalists, academics, students, and programmers participated in the First International Seminar on Online Journalism on May 29, 2010, in São Paulo. The gathering was organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, Cásper Libero College, and the Brazilian chapter of the Online News Association (ONA-Brazil).

Video marks three years since Venezuelan TV's shutdown

On the recent third anniversary of the forced closure of Radio Caracas Television (RCTV), whose editorial line opposed President Hugo Chávez, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) released a video of Marcel Granier, RCTV’s general manager, discussing attacks by the government against private media.

Cuba’s official daily publishes critical views on the economy

At a time when independent journalists continue to fear state police harassment for publishing criticisms of the government, and others remain in prison for their work, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, Granma, appears to be increasingly willing to air critical ideas. In recent months, the paper – Cuba’s largest – has published letters to the editor critical of the country’s economic policies, Juan Tamayo writes for The Miami Herald.

Bolivian military agrees to open dictatorship-era files

Defense Minister Rubén Saavedra says the military is ready to comply with a Supreme Court order to declassify documents from the military dictatorship led by General Luis García Meza (1980-1981), AFP reports.

Venezuelans release book about investigative journalism, announce national contest

The Venezuelan chapter of the Press and Society Institute (IPYS) has released its most recent publication, Methods of Impertinence, a collection of best practices and lessons for investigative journalism in Latin America. The book combines testimonies from 10 prominent journalists from the region that were presented between 2005 and 2009 at events in Mexico, and the Venezuelan cities of Caracas, Maracaibo, and Puerto La Cruz.

Brazilian newspaper owner denies extortion charges and is freed pending trial

Maurício Machado, journalist and owner of Jornal Atualidades in Marília, São Paulo, was granted pretrial release after spending six days in prison under charges of extorting a federal deputy, O Estado de S. Paulo reports. Prosecutors say the journalist planned to publish false stories about the deputy to force him to buy advertising at the paper.

Paraguay plans to launch nation's first public TV in 2011

In an interview with Argentine daily Página 12, Paraguay's communications minister Augusto dos Santos says the country wants to launch its first state-run TV network in May of 2011.

Covering Colombia’s elections with new media but old concerns over press freedom

Colombians appear to have been more comfortable with continuity than with change by giving President Álvaro Uribe’s former defense minister, Juan Manuel Santos, a win with approximately 47 percent of the vote, and putting him into a second-round runoff June 20 with Antanas Mockus, the BBC reports. Several media from around the world were surprised by such a decisive win by Santos, after polls had predicted a tie with Mockus, El Tiempo reports (Spanish).