Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Censorship in Venezuela: Petkoff states his case

Chavez tearing up El Nacional
In what I suspect will be a long series of posts I might as well start with the translation of Teodoro Petkoff editorial in today's Tal Cual, newspaper which is for the time being forbidden to publish a certain type of information. The editorial in English first, with the original Spanish at the end.

-------------

Civil Disobedience

Those who knows Tal Cual may have noticed that in this newspaper the so called "red page" does not exist. We have never practiced journalism describing events associated with blood, particularly in its graphic expressions.

When I took  the direction of El Mundo, in 1999, we eliminated alarmist headlines and gruesome photographs of the red page. It is a matter of principle, strictly personal, that surely not many media professionals share. I do not deny that I may be wrong, but this has been a standard of conduct consistently maintained until today.


Hence, the publication in Tal Cual photo of El Nacional with the terrible image of the morgue, had nothing to do with tabloid journalism. It was clearly a political act.

An act of civil disobedience, as it were, made in full consciousness, not to sell newspapers or to bask in necrophilia, but to express our protest against the outrage committed against public sensibilities by Andres Izarra sneer when the issue of violence and crime was tackled in a television debate.

Furthermore, it constituted a position of solidarity with El Nacional, a newspaper that surely made the dramatic exposure of the photograph on its front page also as a reproach to the regime and its spokesman of the moment, Andres Izarra, for the sheer stupidity of his conduct.

As expected, both the National and Tal Cual have been sued by the Power. It is of course an attempt at killing the messenger, not paying attention to the message it carries. A president who never addresses the issue of violence and crime in his endless chatter, who has ignored it for eleven years, now brings us the tall tale us that exposing such a serious public disaster is nothing short of a weapon of the "counterrevolution".  Already, then, we are told from the shots are coming. Freedom of expression is the target. In fact, the Ombudsman and the trial judge have established, on their own account, press censorship. They have banned the printed publication of the now famous photo and any other that in its opinion contains pictures of "violent content." Overwhelmed by crime, without any practical and efficient plan to cope with, the government is flying blind and pushes to new limits the  idiocy of its public statements on the subject.

The latest in this sense, is the Minister Hector Navarro assertion that crime is a product of ... The Fourth Republic! He finished his brilliant lucubration assuring that since most criminals are twenty years old young people,  it is in the abandonment by the Fourth [pre Chavez era] that made victims of them that we must seek accountability. Always they forget that they are eleven years old and that these twenty years criminals have known no other rule for more than half of their lives than this government, where a guy like Hector Navarro, for example, who is not exactly known for his intelligence can be a minister. The issue of freedom of expression is the pressing matter of the day.


Weil Cartoon today of Chavez surrounded by his innumerable body guards and saying: "These publications disrespect the people"


Desobediencia civil

Quien conoce Tal Cual habrá podido notar que en este diario no existe la llamada "página roja". El periodismo asociado con los hechos de sangre, sobre todo en sus expresiones gráficas, nunca lo hemos practicado.

Cuando me tocó ejercer la dirección de El Mundo, en 1999, fueron suprimidos los titulares alarmistas y las fotografías macabras de la página roja. Se trata de una cuestión de principios, estrictamente personal, que seguramente no muchos profesionales de la comunicación comparten. No niego que puedo estar equivocado, pero esa ha sido una norma de conducta invariablemente mantenida hasta hoy.

De allí que la publicación en Tal Cual de la foto de El Nacional con la terrible imagen de la morgue, no tuvo nada que ver con el periodismo amarillista. Fue un acto claramente político.

Un acto de desobediencia civil, por así decir, realizado a plena conciencia, no para vender periódicos ni para solazarnos en la necrofilia, sino para expresar nuestra protesta por el ultraje cometido contra la sensibilidad pública por la risa burlona de Andrés Izarra cuando era abordado el tema de la violencia y la delincuencia en un debate por televisión.

Además, constituyó una postura de solidaridad con El Nacional , diario que se- guramente hizo la dramática exposición de tal fotografía en su primera plana también para echarle en cara al régimen y a su vocero del momento, Andrés Izarra, la absoluta estupidez de su conducta.

Como era previsible, tanto El Nacional como Tal Cual han sido demandados por el Poder. Se trata de matar al mensajero, no de prestarle atención al mensaje que éste porta. Un presidente que jamás aborda el tema de la violencia y la delincuencia en sus kilométricas chácharas, que lo ha ignorado durante once años, ahora nos sale con la especie de que la denuncia de tan grave calamidad pública es nada menos que un arma de la "contrarrevolución". Ya, pues, estamos avisados por dónde vienen los tiros. La libertad de expresión es el objetivo. De hecho, la defensora del Pueblo y el Juez de la causa han establecido, por su propia cuenta, censura de prensa. Han prohibido a los medios impresos la publicación de la ya famosa foto y de cualquier otra que a su juicio contenga imagenes de "contenido violento". Desbordados por la delincuencia, sin planes prácticos y eficientes para hacerle frente, el gobierno da palos de ciego y extrema el idiotismo de sus planteamientos públicos sobre el tema.

Lo último en este sentido, es la aseveración del ministro Héctor Navarro de que la delincuencia es producto de... ¡la Cuarta República! Remató su brillante lucubración asegurando que puesto que la mayoría de los delincuentes son jóvenes de veinte años, es en el abandono de que los hizo víctimas la Cuarta donde hay que buscar la responsabilidad. Siempre se les olvida que tienen once años gobernando y que esos delincuentes de veinte años durante más de la mitad de sus vidas no han conocido otro gobierno que éste, donde un tipo como Héctor Navarro, por ejemplo, quien no es propiamente famoso por su inteligencia, puede ser ministro. El tema de la libertad de expresión está a la orden del día.

3 comments:

  1. Weil's cartoon makes it abundantly clear that Chavez's definition of "el pueblo" has absolutely nothing to do with the people. Kudos to him - and to Petkoff.

    I wonder what Navarro would say if someone suggested he, too, was a product of the Fourth Republic, since he lived many, many more years under it than these delincuentes he accuses.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hola Daniel,

    What do you think of the Chavez slogan.
    That Patria Socialismo thing.
    Here is the new one
    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs314.snc4/41023_1594345217901_1214047595_1653460_6971076_n.jpg

    saludos
    Alpha

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous8:15 PM

    every single time El supremo those something this crazy and over the line i say to myself this is it el pueblo will not accept this. Every single time I am wrong.
    barqui

    ReplyDelete

Comments policy:

1) Comments are moderated after the third day of publication. It may take up to a day or two for your note to appear then.

2) Your post will appear if you follow the following rules. I will be ruthless in erasing any comment that do not follow these rules, as well as those who replied to that off rule comment.

3)COMMENT RULES:
Do not be repetitive.
Do not bring grudges and fights from other blogs here (this is the strictest rule).
This is an anti Chavez blog, with more than 95% anti Chavez readers that have made up their minds long ago. Thus trying to prove us wrong is considered a troll. Still, you are welcome as a chavista to post,> in particular if you want to explain us coherently as to why chavismo does this or that. We are still waiting for that to happen once.
Insults and put downs are frowned upon and I will be sole judge on whether to publish them.

Followers