Coup bodes ill for media regardless of outcome

first_img Organisation to go further Follow the news on Honduras News HondurasAmericas April 27, 2021 Find out more May 13, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders fears that the hostility of those who staged the coup against President Manuel Zelaya on 28 June and Zelaya’s announced return could further aggravate the press freedom situation. The military’s already significant level of censorship of the international media and national media that oppose the coup has been compounded by the excesses of the media that back it.“We fear more news blackouts will be imposed on part of the press for the sole reason that it used the term ‘coup d’état’ in the first few hours after President Zelaya’s removal,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The de facto government’s promise to arrest Zelaya on his return could also trap those media that plan to cover his return.”The press freedom organisation added: “We can no longer ignore the attitude of certain anti-Zelaya media that are taking the same line as those ousted Zelaya, namely that there has not been any coup. This editorial position has serious jeopardised the safety of reporters and photographers employed by these media during the recent demonstrations and could later lead to a witch-hunt.”Deposed by the army on 28 June and flown to Costa Rica, Honduras’ democratically-elected president had originally planned to return to Honduras tomorrow accompanied by other Latin American presidents such as Cristina Fernández of Argentina and Rafael Correa of Ecuador.But Zelaya postponed his return after the new Honduran authorities threatened to arrest him and the Organisation of American States today gave them 72 hours to restore Zelaya to office. The de facto government has meanwhile extended the curfew by a week, which severely limits the media’s ability to cover developments.Some TV stations such as Canal 8 (which is state-owned), Canal 6 and Canal 11 have resumed broadcasting but their coverage of the coup is either closely controlled or non-existent (see the latest details of the media blackout measures on the Reporters Without Borders website). The censored international TV stations – Telesur and CNN – can only be accessed on the Internet. Telesur and Associated Press representatives have been arrested. Some pro-Zelaya journalists such as Esdras Amado López of Canal 36 have had to go into hiding. Others, such as Eduardo Maldonado of Maya TV, have requested political asylum. The military crackdown has spared media that support the de facto government such as the radio stations HRN, Radio Cadena Voces and Radio América, the TV stations Canal 5 and Canal 10 and the dailies La Prensa, El Heraldo and La Tribuna. These media have incurred the wrath of much of the population.center_img RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” HondurasAmericas Reports 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America July 1, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Coup bodes ill for media regardless of outcome Help by sharing this information News December 28, 2020 Find out morelast_img

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