Community and alternative media in Venezuela
Community and alternative media in Venezuela includes a series of community television stations and community radio stations, as well as other alternative media. "Community media" is one of three types of media defined in Venezuelan law (the others being "public" and "private"). Community television stations include Alba TV, Avila TV and Catia TVe. Catia TVe is one of the oldest community television stations in Venezuela, and was started in 2000 by a community organisation launched following the 1989 Caracazo. Other community and alternative media include Radio Perola, TV Petare, and the alternative news website Aporrea. In 2009 there were nine community radio stations serving Venezuela's indigenous peoples, such as the Wayuu.
In April 2012 the Venezuelan government announced a national alternative media network. Named for the revolutionary Fabricio Ojeda, it "will provide social communications training to potential journalists, photographers and other media-related professions", as well coordinate community media. Previous national networks include the Venezuelan Network of Community Media, or Red Venezolana de Medios Comunitarios (RVM), established in 1996; and the National Association of Community, Independent, and Alternative Media, or Asociacion Nacional de Medios Comunitarios, Libres y Alternativos (ANMCLA).
Prior to 2000, community and alternative media were "few, fragmented, and primarily supported by meager funding from nonprofit, religious, and educational institutions". In 2000, a new Telecommunications Act legally recognized "... the right ... to establish open, community-based, and not-for-profit radio and television media, for the exercise of free and plural communication rights" (Article 2, section 2)." The law specifies that to qualify as "community media" (which attracts tax breaks):
The station must be non-profit and dedicated to the community, with the requirement that 70% of its programming must be produced within the community. Also, there must be a separation between the station and its programming, which means that the station itself may only produce 15%, leaving the remainder to be produced by community volunteers. In addition, the station must provide training to community members so the production of media is accessible to everyone. The law also states that the directors of the community media cannot be party officials, members of the military, or work for private mass media.
After the role of community media in countering the media blackout during the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'etat attempt, government support for community media became stronger and backed by substantial funding - $1.85bn between 2004 and 2006. "As a result of the government’s financial and technical promotion of CAM, the number of licensed community media outlets grew significantly from about a dozen in 2002 to over 450 in 2007." However, "licensed community-based broadcasters decreased from 453 to 288 between 2007 and 2010".
- Venezuelanalysis.com, 31 July 2009, Community Media: The Thriving Voice of the Venezuelan People
- Venezuelanalysis.com, 2 December 2011, Alba TV: Community Television Goes International
- Venezuelanalysis.com, 13 September 2004, Venezuelan TV for and by the Communities
- Venezuelanalysis.com, 19 July 2006, Catia TVe, Television From, By and For the People
- Fernandes, Sujatha (2005), Venezuelanalysis.com, 26 December 2005, Growing Movement of Community Radio in Venezuela
- Fuentes-Bautista and Gil-Egui (2011:271)
- Venezuelanalysis.com, 12 April 2012, National Alternative Media Network Launched in Venezuela
- Fuentes-Bautista and Gil-Egui (2011:258)
- Fuentes-Bautista, Martha, and Gil-Egui, Gisela C. (2011), "Community Media and the Rearticulation of State–Civil Society Relations in Venezuela", Communication, Culture & Critique, 4, pp250-274
- Fuentes-Bautista and Gil-Egui (2011:259)
- ANMCLA - National Association of Community, Independent, and Alternative Media, or Asociacion Nacional de Medios Comunitarios, Libres y Alternativos (ANMCLA)