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Media of Venezuela

Media of Venezuela comprise the mass and niche news and information communications infrastructure of Venezuela. Thus, the media of Venezuela consists of several different types of communications media: television, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, and Internet-based news outlets and websites. Venezuela also has a strong music industry and arts scene.


Some of Venezuela's mass media are privately operated and derive most of their revenues from advertising, subscriptions, and sale or distribution of copyrighted materials. A substantial proportion of the Venezuelan television, newspaper, and radio markets is controlled by state-owned outlets. The government has its own news agency, Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias.

The main private television networks are RCTV; Televen; Venevision; Globovision. State television includes Venezolana de Television, TVes, ViVe (cultural network) and teleSUR (Caracas-based pan-Latin American channel sponsored by seven Latin American states). There are also local community-run television stations such as Televisora Comunitaria del Oeste de Caracas (CatiaTVe). The Venezuelan government also provides funding to Avila TV, Buena TV and Asamblea Nacional TV (ANTV).

The major Venezuelan newspapers are El Nacional, Ultimas Noticias and El Universal, all based in Caracas.


Venezuela was the ninth country in the world to have television, introduced in 1952 by Marcos Perez Jimenez. By 1963 a quarter of Venezuelan households had television; a figure rising to 45% by 1969 and 85% by 1982.Swanson, David and Mancini, Paolo (1996), Politics, media, and modern democracy: an international study of innovations in electoral campaigning and their consequences, Greenwood Publishing, p240

During the democratic period when the political system was dominated by Accion Democratica (AD) and COPEI (1958 - 1998), after the closure of Accion Democratica's La Republica in 1969, none of the major newspapers or broadcasters were affiliated with a political party. However because of the importance of the two main parties, most newspapers had regular columnists or editorialists presenting the views of AD and COPEI on the issues of the day. During this period, both parties promised Congressional seats to publishers in exchange for favourable coverage. In 1983, a deal with Jaime Lusinchi's presidential campaign resulted in four representatives of the Bloque DeArmas publishing group being elected to Congress on AD slates. A similar deal had been struck by COPEI in 1968 on behalf of Rafael Caldera, promising Miguel Angel Capriles a Senate seat and the right to designate eleven Congressional candidates.Coppedge, Michael (1994), Strong Parties and Lame Ducks: Presidential Partyarchy and Factionalism in Venezuela, Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp35-36

After the 1998 election of Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan press "failed miserably in their duty to provide information that their fellow citizens needed to navigate the storms of Venezuelan politics under Chavez. Instead, media owners and their editors used the news - print and broadcast - to spearhead an opposition movement against Chavez."Dinges, John. Columbia Journalism Review (July 2005). "Soul Search", Vol. 44 Issue 2, July-August 2005, pp52-8 The programme of Bolivarian Missions was (until 2005) "virtually invisible in the mainstream press". Encouraged by verbal attacks by Chavez and other officials, editors "began routinely winking at copy containing unfounded speculation, rumor, and unchecked facts." This contributed to a polarization such that for a time reporters were regularly attacked in the street by Chavez supporters with bottles and sticks. According to a political reporter for El Nacional speaking in 2005, "the common attitude has been that we can leave aside ethics and the rules of journalism". Alonso Moleiro said that "Reporters bought the argument that you have to put journalistic standards aside, that if we don't get rid of Chavez, we will have communism and Fidelismo." The head of the Institute for Press and Society in Venezuela said that "here you had the convergence in the media of two things: grave journalistic errors - to the extreme of silencing information on the most important news events - and taking political positions to the extreme of advocating a nondemocratic, insurrectional path." After the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'etat attempt, in which the media played a significant role, there was a change in editorial policy of the major newspapers, with a wider mix of opposition, pro-Chavez and independent commentators. The generally non-partisan Ultimas Noticias gained circulation at the expense of El Nacional and El Universal, which remained more associated with the opposition. Television networks also moderated their tone, with several of the opposition talk shows with the most extreme rhetoric, including talk of violence against Chavez and his followers, taken off the air.

In 2009 the government reviewed the broadcast licences of hundreds of radio and television stations, and declared many to have been operating without a licence or without having paid the appropriate regulatory fees.Venezuelanalysis, 3 August 2009, Venezuela to Transfer Private Media Concessions to Community Media As a result over 60 radio stations were closed. The government said the frequencies would be reallocated to community media, and passed a law limiting ownership of radio and television licences to three per private owner. This was aimed at tackling what it called "media latifundios", with 27 families controlling a third of radio and television.


TeleSUR was founded in 2005 to provide 24-hour news and cultural programming that reflects the diversity of the Latin American region. It is owned and paid for by several countries: Venezuela (which provides 54% of the network's budget), Argentina (15%), Cuba (14%), Uruguay (7%), Bolivia (5%) and Nicaragua (5%). TeleSUR has regional offices in Caracas, Bogota, Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Havana, La Paz, Lima, Quito, Managua and Washington DC.

Further reading

Dinges, John. Columbia Journalism Review (July 2005). "Soul Search", Vol. 44 Issue 2, July-August 2005, pp52-8

Duno Gottberg, Luis (2004), "Mob outrages: reflections on the media construction of the masses in Venezuela (April 2000 - January 2003)", Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 13(1), pp115-135

See also

List of newspapers in Venezuela

List of Venezuelan television channels

List of radio stations in Venezuela

Media representation of Hugo Chavez

2002 Venezuelan coup d'etat attempt


Censorship in Venezuela

Culture of Venezuela

Music of Venezuela

External links

Andrew Kennis, Media Accuracy on Latin America, 15 July 2008, What is the Venezuelan news media actually like?.

Venezuelanalysis, 31 July 2009, Community Media: The Thriving Voice of the Venezuelan People

"Ley Resorte" (2005 media law)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Media of Venezuela

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