No state advertising for “politicized” media in Bolivia

first_img News to go further BoliviaAmericas News BoliviaAmericas Receive email alerts RSF_en News Organisation Follow the news on Bolivia August 20, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 No state advertising for “politicized” media in Boliviacenter_img June 12, 2020 Find out more Bolivian journalist hounded after accusing boss of sexual harassment Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders condemns last week’s government announcement that “politicized” news media will be denied the funding that comes from state advertising.The announcement was made on 10 August by Vice-President Alvaro García Linera, who said state advertising would be withheld from media outlets “that lie” and “practice party politics.”The government is acting under “Supreme Decree 181,” which has been in effect since 2009 and which allows the authorities to allocate state advertising as they see fit, without being subjected to any criteria.What the government means by politicized media is not clear. The vice-president said it means “those who call us by every kind of name, those that insult us and those that lie.” Above all, it seems to mean those the government doesn’t like.“The announced withdrawal of state advertising from ‘politicized’ media is yet another step in the process of silencing independent and opposition media outlets in Bolivia,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk.“We support Bolivian journalists who are struggling against political pressure and we ask the government not to throttle the country’s media by reinforcing a system of state advertising that is perverse because it is subject to arbitrary decision making.”A recent series of resignations or dismissals of prominent journalists has meanwhile alerted the public to apparent government pressure on news organizations behind the scenes.The TV station Cadena A denied that there had been any government pressure when it ended “A todo pulmón” presenter John Arrienda’s contract on 31 July, although Arandia had been very critical of the government during a recent wave of strikes and protests in the southern city of Potosí.The same day, journalist Amalia Pando announced that she was resigning from Radio Erbol, for which she had presented the very popular morning programme “En Directo” for the past ten years. She said she had to leave in order to save the station from being financially strangled by the government.“The government was demanding my head, so I gave it,” she told the daily newspaper “Eldeber.”Journalist Enrique Salazar learned on 22 May that the daily programme he had been hosting on Red Uno TV for the past 12 years was being cancelled. The move came just two days after he subjected communication minister Marianela Paco to an aggressive interview. He said he thought the station’s management, not the government, took the decision.As well as issues linked to Decree 181, there are other worrying problems for journalists including arbitrary arrest (such as Juan Carlos Paco’s recent case) and impunity for violence against journalists. The slowness of the judicial proceedings in the disappearance of Cristian Osvaldo Mariscal Calvimontes of Canal Plus TV in Tarija is one of the latest examples of this.Bolivia is ranked 94th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Covid-19 emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom News February 1, 2018 Find out more Editor still unable to return to Bolivia after six months in exile November 18, 2016 Find out morelast_img read more

A rift in the fellowship of the chamber

first_imgPrint Facebook LimerickNewsA rift in the fellowship of the chamberBy Alan Jacques – September 12, 2020 345 WhatsApp Adam Teskey, Fine Gael. Photo: Cian ReinhardtTHERE was evidence of a major rift between the six councillors of the Adare-Rathkeale Municipal District, who have always prided themselves on working together.Changing the venue for their monthly meeting from their base in Rathkeale to County Hall in Dooradoyle, appears to have been a bridge too far for some with serious cracks in the fellowship between council members being clearly visible.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Before this Tuesday’s meeting commenced, Fine Gael councillor Stephen Keary wanted to know why the meeting had been moved out of the Rathkeale office and if office staff had been consulted about the change of venue.He asked the council executive what they believed the risk was and who posed the risk if the meeting had been held in West Limerick.Cathaoirleach Adam Teskey (FG) refused to discuss the matter with his party colleague.“I’m not going there”, he said,  and refused to engage any further on the matter before the meeting started.Cllr Keary then left the council chamber.Cllr Teskey told council members that an email was sent to all councillors ten days earlier about the change of venue and nobody took issue with the change.”Over the last number of years we’ve had meetings all over the district in places such as Ballyhahill, Ballysteen and Pallaskenry. What’s the issue with having our meeting in the council chamber in Dooradoyle?” he asked.He explained that it was decided to hold the meeting in County Hall as it was a bigger venue, and made it easier for social distancing.Fianna Fáil councillor Kevin Sheahan said he felt the issue was being used for political advantage that the six members  were “not on the same page”.He went onto claim that he had been told by two “honourable” Fine Gael members that one of the six area representatives had alleged the other five members were working in opposition to him.Independent councillor Emmett O’Brien raised concerns over whispers in the municipal district of an “anti-Rathkeale” sentiment from some area representatives. He described it as the spread of “political misinformation” by one member.”I’d dance a jig down the middle of Rathkeale. I’ll go out there anytime,” Cllr O’Brien declared.Fianna Fáil councillor Bridie Collins felt it was an insult to council members to suggest the meeting was moved to a bigger venue for any other reason than health and safety grounds.Before the meeting concluded, councillors called for a solution to be found to the issue.“The six councillors need to put their heads together for the good of the community,” Cllr Sheahan said to Cathaoirleach Adam Teskey.”I can’t get a whip and make anyone carry out their mandate,” Cllr Teskey replied.”I am nominating you to get this sorted,” said Cllr O’Brien interjected.In a statement issued after leaving the meeting, Cllr Keary referred to the council chamber as being a democratic forum that is now “being run like a dictatorship”.“I worked long and hard with the community to have the Rathkeale area office retained and for the name of the town to be retained in the name of the municipal district. Now the elected representatives and the executive won’t even meet there for their monthly meetings. This is an insult to both the office staff and the people of Rathkeale,” he added. Emailcenter_img Twitter Previous articleAnnacotty Maintain 100% Winning RecordNext articleFairview Rangers Eye FAI Junior Cup Glory Alan Jacques Linkedin Advertisementlast_img read more