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PORTSIDE  December 2010, Week 3

PORTSIDE December 2010, Week 3

Subject:

Private, Opposition TV Continues to Dominate in Venezuela

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 15 Dec 2010 22:08:00 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (88 lines)

Private, Opposition TV Continues to Dominate in Venezuela, New Paper Finds

Data Show State TV Has 5.4 Percent of the TV Audience

For Immediate Release: December 13, 2010
Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460

Center for Economic and Policy Research
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/private-opposition-tv-continues-to-dominate-in-venezuela

Washington, D.C.- A new issue brief looking at data on
Venezuela TV audiences contradicts the widely believed
-- and widely reported -- claim that the Chávez
government dominates the television media. In reality,
the paper finds the opposite is true: the state share
of television audience is very small -- currently only
5.4 percent --while private, opposition-owned channels
overwhelmingly dominate the television audience, with
61.4 percent watching privately owned TV channels, and
33.1 percent watching paid TV.

"Statements claiming the Venezuelan government
`controls' or `dominates' the media are not only
exaggerated, but simply false," CEPR Co-Director and
lead author of the paper, Mark Weisbrot, said.

These claims appear regularly in the major U.S. media
and are almost never challenged. For example, in a
description of Venezuela's elections last September for
the National Assembly, the Washington Post referred to
the Chavez "regime's domination of the media . . . ."
In an interview on CNN, Lucy Morillon of Reporters
Without Borders stated, "President Chavez controls most
of the TV stations."

The brief, "Television in Venezuela: Who Dominates the
Media?", from the Center for Economic and Policy
Research in Washington, D.C., analyzes data from AGB
Panamericana de Venezuela Medición S.A., a local
affiliate of Nielsen Media Research International, for
the years 2000-2010 and also finds that state
television audiences have increased during times of
political turmoil, such as during the failed April 2002
coup and the 2002-2003 oil strike.

"The most likely explanation for these spikes in state
television viewers is that more people are interested
in the news during these times, and so more want to get
both sides of the story," Weisbrot said. But even in
these few brief spikes of state TV audience - lasting
for no more than two or three months - the state TV
audience share has never reached 10 percent, even for
one month in the past decade.

The paper notes that the primary means through which
the government seems to get its message out is through
President Chávez himself, in the "cadenas", or official
speeches, that private broadcast TV channels are
required to broadcast. In 2009, according to data from
AGB Panamericana de Venezuela Medición S.A., these
cadenas amounted to an average of about 24 minutes per
day. While this has the potential to get the
government's message out more than the current share of
state TV programming, it is difficult to measure its
impact without data on how many people watch these
speeches.

Read the issue brief at:
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/who-dominates-the-media-in-venezuela

___________________________________________

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