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EU breaks myth of Venezuela's opposition media

By Katy | Caracas Chronicles

27.02.07 | The EU delivered its report on the December Presidential Elections. While pointing out that the process on election day worked within international norms, it highlighted the gross imbalance in media coverage, blasting the CNE for not doing enough to prevent the use of government funds to advertise the Chavez campaign and criticizing excessive media bias in favor of the President. Shamefully, the CNE has a rosy press release on the Report but does not have a link to the document itself - get it here directly from Súmate's web page.

I was glad to see the EU debunking something Chávez apologists kept parroting the days before the election: that using government funds to advertise Chavez was OK because Rosales was doing it too. The EU determined that while institutional messages were biased either toward Chavez or Rosales, the ratio in favor of Chavez was 19 to 1, finding that 95% of all institutional advertising was deemed favorable to Chavez (p. 32).

The EU also said that state-owned channel VTV gave Chávez 86% of its time slotted to political information, with almost 80% of that information shedding a positive light on the President. Meanwhile, VTV gave opposition candidate Manuel Rosales a 14% coverage, and 70% of that coverage was negative, all at taxpayer expense (p. 33). Globovisión was found to be equally biased, something we have criticized on this blog before, although the proportion of Rosales-to-Chávez coverage was smaller than the Chávez-Rosales ratio in VTV and not as negative toward Chavez as VTV was toward Rosales.

Finally, the EU also noted that Televén and Venevisión - two private channels that are not yet on the government's list of things to take over - were unbiased but heavily slanted toward the government (p. 34). So much for the urban legend of Venezuela's media being anti-Chávez. As for the written media, the EU curiously finds that the most biased newspaper in Venezuela is Diario Vea, which relies heavily on government subsidies and advertising and is headed by well-known chavista figureheads (p. 36).

The document is a good read, for those who have the time.

Original Source Caracas Chronicles

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