Boing Boing readers on RCTV losing license

Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing originally posted a rather anti-Chavez piece, then after getting the opposing view from readers, did a long piece with lots of comments from readers explaining the history and why they back what the Venezuelan government did. Thank you, Xeni.

Here’s some of the reader comments.

While normally a station losing a license would be a sad thing, this is a TV station that actively supported a coup against Chavez in 2002, and was partially responsible for the violence and deaths that took place at this time. These events, including the role of RCTV and others are well documented in the (award-winning) film “The Revolution will not be televised”.

Firstly, it is not being shut down. Chavez is not renewing the license for the use of the public airwaves.

The can still broadcast over cable, internet, and satellite. Secondly, the poster failed to mention that RCTV openly supported and helped a coup of his government that was partially successful. Chavez did not shut it down immediately but allowed the contract to expire 5 years later.

He also allows other networks that are openly critical of him to continue, just not the ones that tell people to overthrow a democratically elected government.

It seems plausible that the US would do the same if ABC openly supported and helped enact a coup of the government.

Quoting Colin Burgon in The Guardian

Almost all Venezuelan newspapers remain in private hands. The press is free to report, and express opinions, without government interference. Most do so with considerable brio on a daily basis. No media outlet has encountered licensing problems for the expression of political views. No journalist has been imprisoned or punished for report or comment.

In the UK, if Channel 4 aided an attempted coup against the government that resulted in civil unrest and even death, would anyone be supporting the renewal of its licence? RCTV has lost its licence because its wealthy owners slanted news coverage to provide support to the April 2002 coup against Chávez and the elected government. This will not be news to those who gathered in parliament last week to view John Pilger’s excellent documentary The War on Democracy, which shows footage of RCTV involvement.

And in a letter to the Guardian Burgon said:

This is not a case of censorship. In Venezuela more than 90% of the media is privately owned and virulently opposed to the Chávez government.

One comment

  1. “The [station] can still broadcast over cable, internet, and satellite.”

    While neither supporting nor opposing the issue, I would observe this: if Venezuela is like much of the developing world, where a village is lucky to have a single TV, continued access to these “high end” markets are unlikely to bring much consolation (or revenue).

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