Journalist Clara Fernández died after being shot in the head on Feb. 23 in the northern city of Valencia, Canal de Noticia reports.
Freelance journalist and former Associated Press correspondent John Enders says that members of Venezuela's intelligence agency were harassing and attempting to intimidate him, the Press and Society Institute (IPYS) reports via IFEX.
Episodes of press censorship in Latin America are at the highest levels since many countries began to return to democracy 30 years ago, writes Carlos Lauría, senior program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Lauría’s analysis of censorship in the continent was part of the CPJ’s annual report titled Attacks on the Press 2010.
The Venezuelan government said the private sector continues to control media in the country, El Universal reports, in spite of its efforts to restrict print, broadcast, and digital content.
Tension between the private media and the government of President Hugo Chávez is nothing new. However, U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks (cable 10CARACAS219) reveal that the conflict is now such that the U.S. ambassador in Caracas believes Chávez is “is close to his goal of 'domesticating' or eliminating the remaining free and independent media in Venezuela,” El País reports.
A Venezuelan court sentenced Francisco Contreras to 15 years in prison for his role in the April 2010 kidnapping of Globovisión journalist Luis Núñez, El Universal reports.
Venezuelan activists and journalists have come together to demand increased pluralism in the state-run media, free access to public information, and for the government to return confiscated radio and TV stations to their original owners, El Nacional reports.
Venezuela’s telecommunications agency, Conatel, ordered Televén to immediately stop broadcasting the Colombian telenovela soap opera “Chepe Fortuna” for promoting “political and racial intolerance, as well as xenophobia and crime advocacy,” Reuters and BBC Mundo report.
The National Assembly has expanded the powers of the Venezuelan Executive by granting the president decree powers and the authority to further regulate telecommunications, The Associated Press and Reuters report.
Starting Dec. 14, Venezuela’s National Assembly will begin to work on reforming the Social Responsibility on Radio and Television Law to include internet services and digital media, El Impulso and Europa Press report.