Media Offered Bland Headlines on Chavez TV Shutdown Story
"The Anchoress" had an excellent item yesterday about how some news wires are downplaying the authoritarian, anti-free speech nature of Hugo Chavez's move to shut down a private television network that often criticized the Venezuelan thugocrat. She notes that the bland headlines give little reason for the casual reader to sit up and take notice:
The initial headlines are either unclear or they’re working at happy spin:
Chavez launches new Venezuela TV station.
That sounds merry, doesn’t it - as though Hugo Chavez is happily launching a new enterprise and celebrating! The story is a bit different, though:CARACAS, Venezuela –Venezuela’s oldest private television station was pushed off the air as President Hugo Chavez’s government replaced the popular opposition-aligned network with a new state-funded channel on Monday. Radio Caracas Television shut down just before midnight Sunday as its broadcast license expired. Chavez refused to renew its license, accusing the channel of “subversive” activities. The new channel, TVES, launched its transmissions with artists singing pro-Chavez music…
This headline could be about anything:
Troops fire upon protesters in Venezuela
As with the first headline, it says nothing of Chavez shutting down a popular opposition television station and implanting his own propaganda machine - if you’re only reading the headline, you have no idea what’s really happening:National Guard troops fired tear gas and rubber bullets Monday into a crowd of protesters angry over a decision by President Hugo Chavez that forced a critical television station off the air.
Madonne! Talk about yer chill winds! Here is Hugo Chavez doing precisely what the his admirers on the left daily accuse President Bush (“The Devil” per Chavez) of doing: suppressing dissent, suppressing human liberty.
Another rather innocuous-sounding headline: Venezuela to Launch TV Channel, Replacing Private Station.
Good Lord, that sounds downright dry and humdrum. Reads that way, too. Another: Venezuela TV station to shut at midnight
Honestly, if you were scanning headlines, would you - unless you have a specific interest in that country - even bother reading the story? And the story is pre-tty interesting.
Related NB posts:"Blogs and Others Are Running Circles Around Old Media in Venezuela Coverage, Accuracy"