DomRep media facing serious problems

InterPress Service has a story that paints a bleak picture about news media in the Dominican Republic.

A Bad Case of Quid Pro Quo

The problems of poor pay for journalists and an overly corrupt society are being played out in government efforts to buy off journalists. There has always been “pay-off” and self-censorship by many aspects of the Dominican media outlets to either placate the wishes of the owners of the station/newspaper or fear of being killed by drug lords or pressure from the government.

What IPS reports is not new. The report paints a bleak picture. Almost saying there is no hope in the D.R.

The IPS story rightly highlights the problems in Dominican media but fails to mention the positive steps brave journalists are taking in the country.

Last year Clave Digital closed because of businesses withdrawing ads and death threats against the editor/founder and reporters. The ads were pulled because of the hard-hitting news Clave was known for.

Just last month that same editor started another online news service, Acento. And the editor promises to be just as hard-hitting and independent.

Clearly it would be better if the government of the DR would live up to the democratic principles it claims to support. It would be better if corruption in the country was actually reduced. (BTW, the DR ranked 101 out of 178 countries in corruption. That makes it more corrupt than Mexico, Egypt and Guatemala.)

It is easy enough to look at the list of most corrupt countries and also find it matches nicely with countries with less-than-free media.

Maybe if the U.S. news organizations paid more attention to this island country that has more than 1 million of its citizens living in the United States, then maybe there would be more pressure to seriously attack the corruption in the country.

And this attention might also provide more support and protection to the Dominican journalists who are trying to expose that corruption.

As it is, the only regular mention of the DR is either about baseball stars or church groups running dental clinics. Rarely is there a story about the politics or economics of the DR.

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Filed under Connections, International News Coverage, Press Freedom

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