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Banned? There’s Always YouTube June 3, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Journalism, News, YouTube.

Now coming to a computer screen near you … censored news on YouTube.

Radio Caracas Television , the station silenced by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has found a way to continue its daily broadcasts on the popular video Web site.

CNN reports that the station’s news department continues to operate on reduced staffing, and the three daily hour-long installments of the newscast “El Observador” are uploaded onto YouTube by RCTV’s Web department.

Chavez refused to renew RCTV’s broadcasting license, which expired last Sunday, accusing it of violating broadcast laws and supporting a botched coup against him in 2002. He replaced RCTV on Monday with a state-run broadcast station .

RCTV had been on air for 53 years running programming and news of a decidedly anti-governmental slant. More of its videos can be viewed on YouTube here.

It was among a handful of private broadcasters in Venezuela that openly criticized the government. Chavez has opened an investigation into the remaining opposition station, Globovision.

El Observador clips have been seen 175,000 times since May 28, and the channel is currently the most-subscribed channel of the week. YouTube still lacks anything near the reach of over-the-air broadcasts. But the use of the site to avoid censorship is growing.

In a statement posted on its website, RCTV said the closing of the station will affect “more than 200 journalists, 3,000 workers.” Although moving to YouTube drastically reduced its previous audience, RCTV’s continued presence is a sign of hope for staff.

The station remains defiant. Marcel Granier, president of Empresas 1BC, which owns RCTV said, “We will reorganize and continue working. One is beginning a fight — not violent, but active, very active.” Granier accused Chavez of being “afraid of free thought, of opinion, of criticism.” The closure of RCTV prompted large street protests in Caracas.


1. Web 2.0 characteristics - 'freedom in speech' / democracy « Nothing new. And one out of many … the blog from michaeljung.co.uk - June 4, 2007

[…] Banned? There’s Always YouTube – Blog Comment Artstechnica.com News CNN.com – News   Cheers, MJ  […]

2. khengze - June 4, 2007

Thanks for the comment CJ.
Someone said the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market. YouTube is becoming a pain with governments intent on controlling what citizens see. It renders censors impotent because anyone with a computer, a Web connection and an opinion has the chance to become a Paine.

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