International Media (Finally) Zoom In on Violence in Venezuela
Posted on Feb 21, 2014
“Tonight, Venezuela is seeing a spasm of violence that’s unlike anything the country has experienced since 1989,” blogger Audrey M. Dacosta wrote from Caracas on Wednesday. “Information is fragmented, since an almost complete media black-out is in place, but you don’t need the media to hear your neighbor’s screams.”
In her piece, Dacosta makes good use of the citizen journalism phenomenon by including YouTube clips showing violent eruptions around Venezuela and providing source information. Take a look here (note: some clips show lethal violence).
On Thursday, Dacosta’s Caracas Chronicles colleague Francisco Toro sent another flare up to draw the attention of the too-readily distractable global press corps with a post entitled “The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night—and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch”:
According to Toro, Internet access had been shut off to a “city of 645,000 inhabitants”—San Cristóbal—at the time he posted his story.
By Friday, the international media had taken notice. The Associated Press picked up on Toro’s thread about Internet access and other communication channels being blocked by authorities; after some 30 hours, online and cellphone service had been restored in San Cristóbal.
CNN also dedicated a post to the issue of verifying stories—delivered via networks being intermittently cut off and from sources difficult to check out in the midst of chaos—and presented some of the incoming footage and reports as of that afternoon.
The Guardian also took to the streets to relay first-person accounts about why Venezuelans were choosing to protest.
Speaking of CNN, the BBC chimed in Friday afternoon to report that Venezuelan officials, under President Nicolas Maduro’s orders, had stripped CNN’s Caracas-based correspondent, Osmary Hernandez, of his accreditation and canceled the work permits of two other journalists:
Another march to protest the recent violence in Venezuela is slated for Saturday.
—Posted by Kasia Anderson
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