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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Venezuelan reporters denied access to cover event at National Assembly



On Feb. 5, security officers at the Venezuelan National Assembly prevented reporters from privately-owned newspapers from covering an event at the country's legislature in the capital, Caracas, reported the website La Patilla. 

Marisela Castillo and photographer Saul Uzcátegui from the website Tal Cual, and Ingrid Bravo of Últimas Noticias entered the Legislative Palace to cover an tribute to a student when they were approached by a member of the chamber's security team, Alexander Mejías, who ordered them to leave the premises, according to the organization Espacio Público. Reporters from other private news organizations were also blocked from entering the Assembly, reported Tal Cual. 

Despite presenting their press credentials from the National Journalists' Union (CNP in Spanish) and the National Press Workers Unions, Mejías claimed the reporters did not have the appropriate permissions to enter. According to the Venezuela television broadcaster Globovisión, the legislature refused to renew the reporters' expired credentials to cover events at the Assembly. Only reporters from official news outlets were allowed access to the main chamber of the National Assembly, added the broadcaster. 

This is not the first time private media journalists in Venezuelan have faced hurdles in their job covering the government. Often, announcements from President Hugo Chávez are reserved exclusively for the National System of Public Media.  

Measures spark protests

Reporters banned from covering the tribute protested in front the Legislative Palace with improvised signs. The CNP president decried the reporters' expulsion and requested a meeting with their editors. In a statement, the organization insisted the national government respect journalists' efforts to inform the public.

See a report on the event from Globovisión below or click here:

 

Journalists protest denied access to the Venezuelan National Assembly. Source: Globovisión



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