Venezuela's government trains youth as media "guerrillas"

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  • April 13, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

Venezuela's new minister of communication and information, Tania Díaz, swore in the first 75 "communication guerrillas," members of school youth groups formed to “democratize” information and counterattack “the power of private media." See stories (in Spanish) by El Universal and El Nacional.

The teens will have the task of responding to attacks by the private media through text messages, internet, flyers and street murals, the Associated Press explains. The recruits will be trained in their schools outside their regular learning activities, EFE adds.

On his Sunday broadcast, President Hugo Chávez warned that his government's media battle must be waged every day. "Hopefully each of us can become a communication guerrilla," he said.

This new government offensive against the media has been criticized by the press and the opposition, which challenge the indoctrination of teenagers. However, the education minister, quoted by the government news agency, said the youth will be armed with ideology.

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.