Yoohoo, press freedom squawkers…

…I’ve got another Latin American president for you to call a tyrant!

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has ordered all the country’s TV and radio stations to carry government propaganda for two hours a day.

He says that the short-term measure is necessary because of unfair coverage of his government.

Mr Zelaya recently accused the owners of the country’s news media of exploiting political and social problems in Honduras to get rich.

He won elections in November 2005, but has poor relations with the media.

Last month, Mr Zelaya unsuccessfully tried to get Congress to ban the publication of reports on violent crime – a massive problem in Honduras.


From Monday, 28 May, hundreds of TV and radio channels will be forced to broadcast simultaneous interviews with him and with government ministers.

The aim, said Mr Zelaya, was to allow them to explain a series of projects and measures which are underway, and in so doing counteract what he called misinformation about his government.

No word on what partisan affiliations Zelaya has, or what the media’s partisan leanings are. Tsk, tsk.

But bless the Beeb for at least noting the following:

President Zelaya’s measure comes as press freedom in Latin America is being closely scrutinised.

On Sunday, an opposition TV channel in Venezuela is due to be taken off the air as its licence to broadcast expires.

President Hugo Chavez has refused to renew the licence as he accuses the channel of supporting an attempted coup against him in 2002.

Meanwhile, for the real context, we have to turn to another source.

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