EspañolVenezuela’s National Press Workers’ Union (SNTP) issued a press release criticizing the Ministry of Communications and Information’s “abusive” decision to condition the work of international news media journalists as they cover the upcoming congressional elections, which will take place on Sunday, December 6.
The SNTP claims that the ministry forced correspondents to sign a letter pledging to carry out honest and balanced journalism while respecting Venezuela’s authorities.
The text reads: “I pledge to carry out balanced and honest journalism, as required by Venezuela’s Journalism Ethics Code, and to respect the authorities in charge of guaranteeing civil rights and duties while covering the elections to Venezuela’s National Assembly and all related events, thereby respecting the country’s legal system (the Constitution and the laws regulating the freedom of the press and of expression as well as citizens’ security).”
“I also pledge not to manipulate images, audio files, or texts in order to change their meaning, origin, or concepts, as established by the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. I will transmit true and timely information to the users of the media company I represent, and I will respect the democratic process at all times during my coverage of the Venezuelan election.”
“Should I not fulfill my pledge, I accept that the relevant authorities will remove my permission to cover events in Venezuela.”
SNTP members stated that the Communication Ministry is encroaching on and “clearly threatening the practice of free and independent journalism.”
The SNTP’s press release asserts that the letter in itself “accuses international media professionals of failing to follow the law and the principles set out in Venezuela’s Journalism Ethics Code,” and that it does so “without reasonable grounds.”
The SNTP requested that the Ministry of Communications and Information and the National Electoral Council immediately issue permits for journalists working with international media. The document also called on the government to guarantee the right to work, the right to free expression, and the right to information.