By María José Almmeida
Since Ecuador has a new government we have face to many changes: political, economical and social changes. Rafael Correa looks for the economic revolution, the country identity, the union of Latin-America and the end of corruption. In addition, these changes have been also reflected on his relation with the media. Thegovernment has criticized a lot the Ecuadorian media; he has accused them to be evolved or related to bankers and economic power groups. The president made also a formal complaint against the president of La Hora for injuries, after this newspaper accused him to incite the use of violence when he ordered to expel the president of El Universo newspaper for talking about the president’s family in apolitical argument.
Those are just some examples of the relation that our president carry with the media, but it is not all. During a press conference he called “gordita horrososa” to a journalist from Cuenca who asked him some questions that he refused to answer; and he also called “bestias salvajes” to the Ecuadorian media quoting Tony Blair expression. Then, an executive decree was issuedfor modifying the regulations of the Broadcasting and Television Law. The decree prohibited the broadcasting of clandestine videos or recordings unless they are used by institutions to detect corruption acts.
The sanction for the media would be a fine and the suspension of the transmission. Most of the journalist trades considered it as a violation of the right of freedom of expression and of theConstitution. For example, CONARTEL (a radio and television regulating body) imposed fines on a remaining independent television station, Teleamazonas, for transmitting bull-fights and "The Simpsons" during prime time. A third fine could lead to a temporary or permanent ban on this private television channel. The president has decided to create Ecuador TV, the first state TV channel and he alsoowns the newspaper El Telegrafo.
Ecuadorian people live in a political fighting environment. The president fight with the media, the media fight with the president, assemblymen fight for the laws about the media and people do strikes in order to raise their voices and fight for what they think or believe. After knowing all these facts, we can think that we live in a country free to express whatwe think. However, the measures taken by the government against some means of communication, are directed to avoid bad information about the government itself. I think the government doesn’t have the right to hide the information and media doesn’t have the right to broadcast all kind of information. The important is to have a balance between in the complete freedom of expression and the manage ofthe media. The media has always fought for this freedom and the governments always wanted to control it. However, should the media be free by to show the information they consider important or the information they think we need to know?
Complete freedom means that the press should not interfere in any way and that the media would be allowed to publish what they consider is right for people. Theright to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The ICCPR recognizes the right to freedom of speech as "the right to hold opinions without interference. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression".However, in practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations.
That is why it is important to know if the media should be or not controlled. There are some authors that have written about this topic that allow me to mention.
The English philosopher, political theorist, political economist, civil servant and Member of...