I’m not sure if this constitutes news any more, but Venezuela is continuing to tighten its suppression of the media. Some lowlights:
On August 1st, 34 radio stations were taken off the air for allegedly failing to submit the proper paperwork to the broadcasting regulator. In all, more than half the country’s 656 privately owned radio stations face fines and possible closure on this ground. Their owners say they have tried for years to update their paperwork, with no response from the authorities.
The attorney-general, Luisa Ortega, unveiled a draft law against “media crimes” which proposes jail terms of up to four years for vaguely worded offences such as “prejudicing state security” or the “mental health” of the public. Not just reporters and media owners, but anyone expressing himself in the media (or failing to report news the authorities consider essential) may face prosecution. The right to free speech must be “regulated”, Ms Ortega said.