Venezuelan president to create "The Truth Newscast"

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced last week the creation of ‘El Noticiero de la Verdad’ ("The Truth Newscast"), news agency EFE reported. Private and state media outlets will be required to run the new government radio and TV broadcast twice a day.

Maduro said this newscast is necessary because private media in Venezuela do not broadcast government events and try to downplay the achievements of his administration, newspaper El Tiempo reported.

The announcement created concern among media workers and press freedom advocates. The Press and Society Institute (IPYS) in Venezuela called Maduro's initiative a violation to the international standards on freedom of expression. Other analysts said the newscast will "show a fictional country" in an attempt to change the country's image, newspaper El Universal reported.

In a recent testimony before a congressional sub committee, Carlos Lauría, senior program coordinator in the Americas for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said Venezuela represents the clearest case in the continent of intolerance toward diversity of opinions. According to CPJ, in the last 14 years Venezuela has used laws, regulations, judicial decisions and other measures to gradually undermine private and independent media in the country.

During the first 143 days of his administration, President Maduro has made 106 official addresses, which have lasted a total of 70 hours with 28 minutes, IPYS reported.

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.