Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Cuban Media Is Simply a Disgrace

The Cuban Media Is Simply a Disgrace
September 16, 2016
Jimmy Roque Martinez

HAVANA TIMES — Last July, the controversial speech given by the
assistant director of the official Granma newspaper during a meeting of
the Cuban Journalists Association circulated around the internet and was
passed around on USB sticks on the island.

As we already know, Holguin reporter Jose Ramirez Pantoja published the
contents of this speech in full on his personal blog. However, this act
of journalistic and human integrity was "rewarded" with the journalist's
immediate firing from the Cuban government radio station where he worked.

Day after day, I'm becoming more and more convinced that the Cuban
government's madness and stupidity know no bounds.

A few years ago, Cuba's vice-president, Miguel Diaz Canel, defended the
role Cuban journalism plays and its duty to report the truth.

However, as well as the government's traditional censorship of
right-wing media, a few months ago, they also began to shut down various
blogs on their own Cubava platform, such as Observatorio Critico,
Proyecto Arcoiris, Bubusopia, amongst others.

Then young government journalists who also contribute to independent
media were threatened.

Now, they've fired a professional for informing his readers, for having
published an opinion that the vast majority of Cuban journalists working
in all kinds of media agree with.

Furthermore, the journalist Fernando Ravsberg and his website Cartas
desde Cuba, are being pressured by the government.

We know that Internet on the island is expensive, but a percentage of
the people have access to it and they look up the news. There is also
the "weekly package", which is self-censored so that it can continue to
survive, but it always has one or another piece of politically
interesting news or tongue-in-cheek criticism.

A new initiative has also been set up which offers an alternative
package, "el paquetito", where the content is exclusively political and
includes articles and videos, which are mostly produced by Cuba's
right-wing opposition.

Likewise, many Cubans receive news from a lot of blogs that send out
their bulletins by email. Miami TV channels are also watched in many
Havana neighborhoods, illegally.

This is why it doesn't make any sense to continue on with this absurd
censorship. The truth can't be hidden for much longer. It's time for the
government to face the facts and accept that they are losing control
over the information that many Cuban people are taking in.

Cuban government media is discredited in the eyes of the Cuban people;
very few believe it anymore. Printed newspapers are only bought to
substitute toilet paper at home, because the latter is so expensive.

The Cuban population is aging and young people are emigrating, so if the
government censors and tramples on the dignity of those who are talented
and want to work, they won't have many other choices.

Many of them will leave the country, others will join the opposition,
several will give in to their censors and continue to write for
alternative media channels using pen names, while some will become
mediocre and accept the censorship.

In any case, the government will not be able to recover its yesteryear
status as the country's "only informer".

The situation today is a disgrace, but I don't believe that
trivialities, silliness, birthday celebrations that nobody is interested
in, hiding the truth and the manipulation of Cuba's government media,
will last for much longer.

It's unsustainable out of a question of respect, but more than anything,
because alternative media outlets are becoming more and more accessible.

Source: The Cuban Media Is Simply a Disgrace - Havana -

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