The Listening Post

Venezuela: Protests, propaganda and self-censorship

Venezuela’s competing media narratives around protests. Plus, a look at when Cuban movie theatres delivered the news.

On The Listening Post this week: Four weeks of protests in Venezuela and the competing media narratives around them. Plus, a look back at the days when Cuban movie theatres delivered the news.

Venezuela: Protests, propaganda and self-censorship

With Venezuela’s economy poised on the brink of collapse, the government’s few remaining allies in the news media are replaying the familiar blame game, pointing the finger at foreign enemies. But Nicolas Maduro’s hold on the narrative is slipping as journalists turn to Telegram to get the story out.

Maryclen Stelling, director, Global Observatory of Media of Venezuela
Vladimir Villegas, host, Globovision
Cesar Batiz, editor-in-chief, El Pitazo
Odell Lopez, journalist, Servicio de Infomacion Publica

On our radar:

  • US news channels refuse to air a Trump campaign ad which accused them of being “fake news”.
  • In The Gambia, the new government is making promising noises about the importance of press freedom.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally wins his long battle to shut down Israel’s public broadcaster, IBA.

Revolutionising news – Cuba’s ‘Noticiero ICAIC’

Cinema newsreels may be anachronisms now, but between 1960 and 1990, Cuba’s film institute produced a weekly news programme screened in cinemas all around the country. El Noticiero ICAIC ran across a total of 1,493 newscasts, many of which could be dismissed as propaganda.

However, the films often pushed the limits of news and visual storytelling and remain a document of a key period in world history.

The Listening Post went to Cuba to talk to one of the producers behind the long-running cinema newscasts, Manuel Perez Paredes.