Between 1999, when Hugo Chávez first became President of Venezuela, and June 2012, the country's television and radio stations have been forced to broadcast 2,334 president speeches, amounting to a total of 97,561 minutes of broadcasting.
The freedom of expression situation in Venezuela has deteriorated since 2008, due to President Hugo Chávez's abundant power abuses, according to a report by the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW).
A team of reporters from the Venezuelan TV channel Televen were attacked on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 10, as shots were fired from the roof of the National Prison of Maracaibo, better known as the Sabaneta prison, in the state of Zulia.
The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) called the Venezuelan Supreme Court's decision to seize the assets of the TV station Globivisión for not paying a fee in 2011 a "blatant attack on press freedom."
On Thursday, June 28, Venezuela's Supreme Court declared an "executive embargo" on the holdings of television station Globovisión until the station pays a $5.6 million fine for covering riots at the prison El Rodeo.
Journalists feeling that they are not adequately represented by the National Journalists Union (CNP) of Venezuela on June 27 created the Journalists Platform, a parallel organization to the CNP.
Roughly 100 Venezuelan journalists based in the United States have created an association in Miami aimed representing members' interests and improving professionalism, reported El Universal.
With the Venezuelan presidential elections just three months away, attacks against the press and journalists will most likely increase, warned the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). WAN-IFRA visited Venezuela from June 4-6 and found that independent media were polarized and weakened.
The city of San Fernando, in the Venezuelan state of Apure, removed the Friday, June 8, edition of the weekly magazine Notisemana from circulation for not having a filed registration with the city's Autonomous Tax Service, reported Globovisión. The National Association of Journalists (CNP in Spanish) of Apure-Amazonas criticized the city's actions, which it considered arbitrary.
Armed individuals opened fire against the headquarters of a newspaper in the state of Zulia, in northeast Venezuela, on the night of Sunday, June 3, reported La Nación. This is the third attack in one week against news media outlets in the region.