Thursday, March 13, 2014

(2/21/14) The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) join like-kind associations and our concerned/outraged members in the increasingly dangerous/deadly nationwide protests in Venezuela. NAHJ demands that police (and government authorities) exercise restraint and caution in dealing with protestors and the journalists covering the story which is garnering worldwide attention. Among the demands from demonstrators (largely economic and social) is freedom of speech. The persecution of journalists for doing their jobs is unacceptable. Any attempt to censor or control news coverage of the demonstrations will only inflame an already perilous situation. NAHJ stands with Venezuelan journalists and all journalists who are victimized by governments and others for covering stories in the public’s best interest. To exert control of the media is to asphyxiate a community. NAHJ will work with other journalism groups in demanding the Venezuelan government cease their heavy handed tactics in dealing with these protests.

NAHJ also urges U.S. English-language news media to improve their coverage of the crisis in Venezuela. With the exception of CNN, the turmoil in the South American country hasn’t been given the attention it warrants. Venezuelans represent one of the largest Latino groups residing in the United States. The story is of interest to not only them, but Latinos from neighboring countries and the U.S. government.
While coverage has sorely lacked in English-language media, Spanish-language news outlets have done an exemplary job in providing fair, accurate and consistent coverage of the unrest in Venezuela. NAHJ applauds their hard work.
I will be reaching out to leaders in the English language news outlets to offer NAHJ’s assistance in covering this critical story.

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