Venezuela - Report of fact-finding trip to Venezuela : "Closure of Radio Caracas Televisisn Consolidates media hegemony"



    MONTREAL, June 5 /CNW/ - Reporters Without Borders today releases a
report of a fact-finding trip it made to Venezuela from 24 to 28 May to
examine the impact of the closure of Radio Caracas Televisisn (RCTV), the
country's most popular television station.
    RCTV's 53 years in broadcasting came to end at midnight on 27 May, five
months after President Hugo Chavez announced that its licence would not be
renewed because it had supported the coup that briefly ousted him in April
2002.
    Widely condemned abroad, RCTV's closure was much more than just an
administrative measure. It was a political move without precedent in Latin
America, a key element in a government takeover of the broadcast media that is
part of a determined effort to control and occupy the entire public arena.
    Reporters Without Borders went to Venezuela to assess the consequences of
this event on press freedom and free expression in the country, meeting with
media owners, journalists, NGO representatives and political analysts. It also
spent RCTV's last day on the air at the commercial broadcaster's headquarters.
    The press freedom organisation found that the decisions to close RCTV and
transfer its terrestrial broadcast channel to a new public TV station,
Televisora Venezolana Social (Tves), were conducted outside of all regular
legal channels and in defiance of the jurisprudence established by the
Organisation of American States, to which Venezuela belongs.
    Reporters Without Borders intends to refer this matter to the United
Nations Human Rights Council, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
and the Council of Europe.




For further information:

For further information: Emily Jacquard, Canadian office representative,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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