Petition statement to be delivered to Carlos Lauria, Senior Americas Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists

.@pressfreedom: Fix Your False Reporting on Venezuela

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.@pressfreedom: Fix Your False Reporting on Venezuela

To be delivered to Carlos Lauria, Senior Americas Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists

Petition Statement

The Committee to Protect Journalists must correct its false report that "Nearly all TV stations in Venezuela are either controlled or allied with the government of Nicolás Maduro and have ignored the nationwide protests." The New York Times has recently corrected a similar false claim. The Committee to Protect Journalists should follow the lead of the New York Times in correcting its false claim.
There are currently 3,479 signatures. NEW goal - We need 4,000 signatures!

Petition Background

In a February 20, 2014 report, the Committee to Protect Journalists claimed that "Nearly all TV stations in Venezuela are either controlled or allied with the government of Nicolás Maduro and have ignored the nationwide protests." [1]

Evidence demonstrating that this claim is false is a matter of public record. Indeed, public pressure just compelled the New York Times to correct a claim similar to the CPJ claim. [2] The Committee to Protect Journalists should correct its false report. Urge the Committee to Protect Journalists to correct its false report by signing our petition.

On February 24, CEPR Co-director Mark Weisbrot of CEPR noted that [3] data published by the Carter Center [4] for television coverage during the campaign for the presidential election last year indicated that the two candidates were fairly evenly represented.

Weisbrot also noted that in the recent coverage of Venevisión, the biggest broadcast television station, we can find plenty of programming where “voices critical of the government” … are “regularly broadcast,” citing an interview [5] on Venevisión news with Tomás Guanipa, leader of the opposition Primero Justicia (Justice First) party and a representative in the National Assembly, who defended the protests.

Weisbrot also noted that Globovisión recently broadcast a long interview with opposition leader María Corina Machado, in which she argued that the opposition has the right to overthrow the democratically elected government. [6]

In the current situation in Venezuela, falsely claiming that mass media are closed to critics of the government is a dangerous mistake, similar to reporting that "we know that Iran is building a nuclear weapon." This false claim about Venezuela emboldens the faction of the opposition, and its supporters abroad, which is advocating the use of violence to oppose the government.

Urge the Committee to Protect Journalists to fulfill its responsibility to publish a correction to its false report.

References:
1. " Journalists under fire covering protests in Venezuela," Committee to Protect Journalists, February 20, 2014, http://www.cpj.org/2014/02/journalists-attacked-detained-covering-protests-in-1.php
2. “NYT Corrects Venezuela TV Falsehood,” Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, February 27, 2014, http://www.fair.org/blog/2014/02/27/nyt-corrects-venezuela-tv-falsehood/
3. "Does Venezuelan Television Provide Coverage That Opposes the Government?" Mark Weisbrot, Center for Economic and Policy Research, February 24, 2014, http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/the-americas-blog/does-venezuelan-television-provide-coverage-that-opposes-the-government
4. "Carter Center Issues Report on Venezuela Election," July 3, 2013
http://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/venezuela-070313.html
5. “Entrevista Venevisión: Tomás Guanipa, secretario general de Primero Justicia,” Venevisión, February 20, 2014, http://www.noticierovenevision.net/politica/2014/febrero/20/89967=entrevista-venevision-tomas-guanipa,-secretario-general-de-primero-justicia
6. “María Corina Machado: El pueblo ha salido a la calle a expresar su derecho a la justicia,” Globovisión, February 17, 2014, http://globovision.com/articulo/maria-corina-machado-ofrecera-detalles-sobre-convocatoria-para-este-martes

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