Chavez government continues in efforts to control media

The Venezuelan Press Block reported to the Inter American Press Association that the government of Hugo Chavez is gaining more control of Venezuelan media outlets.

According to the BPV Chavez has control over 238 radio stations, 28 TV stations, 340 newspapers, weekly publications and magazines and 125 websites. That gives the Chavez government control of enough news outlets to make sure his and only his message gets wide distribution.

Venezuela shares with Cuba the dubious status of being one of two non-free countries in the Western Hemisphere, according to Freedom House. The organization’s annual review of press freedom puts Venezuela at second to the bottom — with Cuba taking lowest place. In global rankings, Venezuela is at 160 out of 190.

Countries that are well-known for their suppression of free media such as Djibouti, Malaysia and Morocco actually have better ratings than Venezuela. On the plus side for Chavez, his government is not as bad as Sudan (168), Saudi Arabia (176), China (181) or Cuba (190).

He just shares their hopes and dreams of total media control.

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Filed under Censorship, Harassment, Press Freedom

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