Friday, July 31, 2009
By Steven L. Taylor

Critics of Hugo Chávez often assume that all he does is nefarious, when often it is just boisterous. However, a current move to assert control over the Venezuelan press cannot be described as anything other than an authoritarian move.

Via the BBC: Venezuela mulls tough media law

A tough new media law, under which journalists could be imprisoned for publishing “harmful” material, has been proposed in Venezuela.

Journalists could face up to four years in prison for publishing material deemed to harm state stability.

Public prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz, who proposed the changes, said it was necessary to “regulate the freedom of expression” without “harming it”.

According to the report, the proposed law would any reports that the government deemed to be “false” could result in the arrest and imprisonment of up to four years of editors, reporters or artists if the falsity in question threatened “the peace, security and independence of the nation and the institutions of the state”.

As the AP’s headline puts it: Venezuela: ‘Freedom of expression must be limited’.

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