Tag Archives: Venezuela

Journalists who call Hugo Chavez a dictator should be jailed, says Sean Penn

From last Thursday, an interesting interview in the Guardian with Sean Penn, in which the US actor criticises the treatment of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez by the US media.

Every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it, and accept it. And this is mainstream media. There should be a bar by which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies.

Full story at this link…

Where does the BBC have bureaux and why?

Journalism.co.uk had been surprised to learn at last month’s Journalism in Crisis event that the BBC used only stringers to cover South America, according to director of news Helen Boaden.

The location of global bureaux ‘is something to do with your colonial past’ she said, adding to comments by BBC director-general Mark Thompson, when he was questioned by an irate audience member on the corporation’s lack of coverage in that part of the world (specifically Latin America).

Audio here:

Does the BBC really have no bureaux in Central and South America? Well, the BBC press office later told Journalism.co.uk, it depends how you define stringers and bureaux.

There is a distinction between ‘newsgathering hub’ bureaux and ‘non-hub’ regional bureaux¬†the BBC spokesperson said. While there are no ‘newsgathering hub bureaux’ in South and Central Americas, there are four regional offices, located in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Havana.¬†How many in each, Journalism.co.uk asked.

Two in each of the four cities: one producer and one local fixer, both on sponsored stringer contracts with retainers. Other individual stringers cover the rest of the continent other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, with freelancers working from Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Chile and Jamaica.

It’s an interesting question: where are international news organisations’ bureaux and why? A particularly pertinent one to raise, given the difficulties in accessing material from Iran at the moment. The BBC office in Tehran remains open, but permanent correspondent Jon Leyne has been ordered to leave the country, the corporation reported yesterday.

While the BBC had two producers inside a Gaza office in 2008, it did not have any permanent crew on the ground and this affected its coverage of the crisis at the end of that year, and the early part of 2009.

It was helpful for Al Jazeera to have people already based in Gaza, as its two correspondents told Journalism.co.uk in a live-blog interview in April.

NB: Whether Al Jazeera were the ‘only’ English-language international broadcaster in the area for the 12-day media block is still a bone of contention: a journalist later reminded Journalism.co.uk that his employer, Iranian government-funded Press TV, was also reporting from the region during that period.

Wired.com: Wikileaks to auction Hugo Chavez aide emails

Leaked documents website Wikileaks is to auction off emails from a ‘top aide’ of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez to the highest media bidder.

The site is experimenting with the auction as a new revenue model.

The successful bidder will receive embargoed access to the messages, which will later be made publicly available by the site.