Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights

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Posts tagged Globovision

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Turmoil at Globovisión

Hugo Pérez Hernáiz and David Smilde

What originally appeared as a visible but subtle change of direction at television station Glovovisión has in the last two weeks become a raucous turning point with multiple journalists being fired or resigning. The turmoil leaves Globovisión’s role as an opposition outlet in doubt and appears to represent a new extension of the Venezuelan government’s control over broadcast media.

Following Guillermo Zuloaga’s announcement in March that he had agreed in principle to the sale of Globovisión it was finally acquired at the beginning of May by a business group rumored to have ties with the Government.

Announcement of the hiring of journalists Vladimir Villegas and Leopoldo Castillo as station directors generated considerable optimism about the new Globovisión and its independence. However on May 13, after a meeting with the new owners, Villegas surprisingly announced on Twitter that he would not be accepting the position after all. He commented that “we didn’t reach agreement on programming nor on what my competencies would be.” 

One of the new owners, Juan Domingo Cordero, declared on May 16th that there had been disagreements in the meeting with Villegas over the general direction the business should follow, but he assured that there would be no changes in the channel and that all the journalists would keep their jobs: “All the news anchors are staying, there won´t be any changes here.”

However events have unfolded quite differently.

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Filed under globovision

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New Globovisión Leadership Suggests Change and Continuity in Venezuelan Media

David Smilde and Hugo Pérez Hernáiz

On Thursday May 2, Carlos Zuloaga, vice-president of opposition Globovisión announced that the new ownership had reached terms with journalists Vladimir Villegas and Leopoldo Castillo to co-direct the station. (There will be a third co-director who has yet to be named.) Both Villegas and Castillo confirmed via twitter that they had accepted the offer.

The new team of directors points to an editorial line that would be more balanced but not break with Globovisión’s critical past. This is a big relief for those who thought the sale of Globovisión would mean a further reduction of opposition presence in broadcast media.

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Filed under Globovision Freedom of expression

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CONATEL Opens New Case against Globovisión

Hugo Pérez Hernaíz and David Smilde

After National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello publicly complained about a series of 90 second television spots produced and aired by news channel Globovisión, the government media controlling agency Consejo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CONATEL) ordered Globovisión to stop airing them. It also announced it was opening a new administrative procedure (the eighth opened by the agency against Globovision), that could result in a fine of up to 10% of the channel’s gross earnings during the past fiscal year.

According to CONATEL General Director Pedro Maldonado, the timing of the opening of administrative procedure and Cabello’s complaint was a mere coincidence, since CONATEL had already been monitoring the spots during the months of December and January. CONATEL had concluded that the channel was violating article 27 of the Social Responsibility Law which prohibits information that “incites or promotes intolerance for religious or political reasons, for gender differences, racism or xenophobia…generates anguish in the population…fails to recognize legitimately constituted authorities… or promotes the violation of the legal order.” 

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Filed under Venezuela Globovision Conatel