Interview with Claudia Lopez:
As a journalist covering the Carribean coast of Colombia, how is it that I can fight against the news blackout? How can I go about getting more contacts?
The work of journalists is under threat in these and other zones of the country where the authorities maintain a strong collusion with illegal armed groups, many of which are drug traffickers. Many times, people prefer to keep quiet rather than make public accusations. Sometimes we have worked alongside local presses or with journalists who are familiar with the region and have an effective network of sources, like Gonzlao Guillen, a renowned investigative reporter. Other sources are professors or university researcher, but they too are prey to fear. It is not easy to report about this zone.
2) What are the other consequences of self- censorship other than a news blackout?
I assume you are referring to other kinds of self-censorship. Without a doubt, the most effective (?) and what functions as the norm is that the same politicians involved in criminal activity are those who are supposed to report it. Journalists and the media are forced to omit information mainly because to publish it would mean a reduction in personal income and a threat to their livelihood and survival. In states such as La Guajira, the majority of income depends on public entities and on politicians who use money at their own discretion and for their own interests, for lack of regulation on how money is spent.
Supongo que te refieres a otras formas de auto censura. Sin duda, la más efectiva y la que más funciona en casi todo el país es a través de la pauta, que en muchas ocasiones manejan los mismos políticos involucrados con los delitos que se pretenden reportar. Los periodistas y los medios se ven obligados a omitir información principalmente porque de no hacerlo verían reducidos los ingresos personales y de sus medios y por lo tanto, amenazada por su supervivencia. En departamentos como La Guajira la mayoría de los ingresos publicitarios dependen de las entidades públicas y los políticos que la usan a discreción de sus intereses, por no haber una regulación clara para ese tipo de inversiones.
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