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Government uses television slots to criticise journalist

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 17, 18 and 19 December 2008, the government interrupted the "Contacto Directo" television programme, which airs on Ecuavisa, to broadcast messages against programme host Carlos Vera. A few days before, Vera had criticised the performance of the Housing Department in the construction of houses in Manabí and Guayas provinces.

The government has infringed the chapter on Social Obligations of the Broadcasting and Television Law by not broadcasting its messages on the same schedule or simultaneously through all TV stations, and by broadcasting information that is unconnected to the state's activities.

Fundamedios (Fundación Andina para la Observación y Estudio de Medios) and IPYS note that the government has the right to request that the press issue a correction statement. However, it cannot use the advertising slots that, by law, it has access to, to discredit journalists or those who oppose its views.

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