World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Press Freedom Resolution: Venezuela called on to end limits on imported newsprint

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Press Freedom Resolution: Venezuela called on to end limits on imported newsprint

Article ID:

18177

The Board of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), meeting on the 12 October 2014 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, during the World Publishing Expo 2014, calls on President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela to end limits on imported newsprint, which is strangling the independent press in the country.

The government of Venezuela systematically blocks, or slows down, the importation of newsprint by restricting cash transfers from Venezuelan news companies to newsprint suppliers. This has led to a massive newsprint shortage that has closed many newspapers and resulted in the reduction of pages at many others.

On 7 October, the daily Tal Cual, one of the last independent media outlets left in Venezuela, told its readers that the newsprint stock of its provider company would last only until 22 October.

Despite a recent agreement that allowed daily El Impulso to receive an emergency supply of newsprint on 10 September, the problem persists. The Board of WAN-IFRA considers this practice as an indirect form of censorship by the government.

The WAN-IFRA Board also notes that pressure on independent media is not limited to newspapers.  On 19 August, the Venezuelan communications regulator CONATEL ordered the suspension of “Aquí entre tú y yo”, a critical radio program that aired on Caracas Radio, or RCR. The next day, CONATEL officials, accompanied by National Guard troops, entered the studio of Sensacional 94.7 FM, a radio station in Barinas, and ordered its immediate shutdown, after refusing to renew the station’s expired transmission license.

The Board of WAN-IFRA continues to be deeply concerned by the critical situation of freedom of the press in Venezuela and calls the government of Nicolás Maduro to put an end to all forms of censorship, violence and intimidation against the independent press and take immediate, durable and effective measures to guarantee a free flow of information in the country.

Author

Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop

Date

2014-10-03 14:41

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