CBS Havana Producer: Cuban Regime Likes CNN
Castro's censors like CNN in Spanish. That's one of the nuggets that makes today's "Public Eye" interview with Havana-based CBS producer Portia Siegelbaum a worthwhile read. It's particularly timely in light of dictator Fidel Castro's comrades in ideology running roughshod over the free press in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
[Update/related MRC study: Rich Noyes reminded me of his 2002 study of CNN's favorable coverage of the Cuban regime.]
My only complaint with Siegelbaum is her describing the Cuban state media as an "information service," that pedals "information" handed it by the Castro regime. When many biased, liberal journalists skeptically eye anything coming from the White House or Pentagon as "spin," it becomes all the more annoying that Cuban state media are seen as relaying "information."
Here's the relevant excerpt from the interview:
Brian Montopoli: Is there any form of alternative or underground media in Cuba?
Portia Siegelbaum: No.
Brian Montopoli: So there are no real voices of a free press that are in Cuba, for Cuba, specifically?
Portia Siegelbaum: No. The Cuban media is basically an information service of the government. Especially in domestic news. What the Cuban media does do is they cover world news. You will see CNN in Spanish stories in the Cuban television news at night. They'll take CNN in Spanish, they'll take Spanish TV. So Cubans in general get a lot of international news, and that comes from outside sources. But in terms of domestic news, the source is the Cuban government, or Cuban government ministry functionaries, and they're feeding information to their press.