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Thu April 19, 2012
Reporting in Ecuador
The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, had the media’s support when he was elected five years ago, promising a citizen’s revolution that would take advantage of the country’s natural resources to lift people out of poverty.
But after the election, the left-leaning economist began a running battle with the media, while starting his own network of pro-government newspapers and broadcast stations.
In recent months, his tactics have become more aggressive, drawing comparisons to Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez.
Correa pre-empts private news broadcasts with anti-media tirades and smears his critics. He’s pushed through restrictive laws and filed debilitating defamation lawsuits seeking huge amounts of money and jail sentences.
One defamation lawsuit -- seeking $10 million -- was filed against investigative journalists Juan Carlos Calderon and his co-author of the book, El Gran Hermano, The Big Brother. Their investigation alleged that companies belonging to the president’s older brother improperly received millions of dollars in state contracts for road construction.
Global Journalist host David Reed spoke with Summer Harlow, the blog editor for the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. The center based at the University of Texas is a professional training and outreach program for journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Note: There is no video available for this episode of Global Journalist.