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A truck loaded with news, the new way to overcome censorship in Venezuela

A truck loaded with news, the new way to overcome censorship in Venezuela

He ‘news truck’ is the idea launched by three digital media outlets Venezuela who, on board a truck, carry news and investigative journalism “direct to the communities” of Caracas, as a mechanism to overcome the censorship and blockages that prevent access to information.

The ‘mobile ARI, an information truck’ is the name of the vehicle of the Rebel Alliance Investigates (ARI) with which the digital media El Pitazo, Tal Cual and Runrunes bring their investigations closer to communities that cannot see their content, either due to poor Internet access, or due to the blockade applied by the state telecommunications corporation.

When they arrive at popular areas, markets or universities, they park the truck in a central point, open their window and show the audiovisual booth that allows them to do interviews and show the curious public how news production works in a space that could well recreate a small editorial, but with four wheels.

José Manuel Hernández, coordinator of a popular street market, said that “People are very happy” because this idea brings to the area a “little joy” and also, “share the news”.

“We catch up with situations that we were suddenly not aware of, and the receptiveness of people and market users has been great”added the man.

The project coordinator, journalist Yaya Andueza, narrates news from the truck in which, she explained to EFE, it is also possible to make projections, live interviews and connect television channels on a screen arranged on one of the sides.

“It is an initiative that has what we call a triple impact: first, it informs; second, form; but also, in itself, it constitutes a business opportunity for the localities”, said. Information to take away

(Photo: EFE)

Between stalls in a market, on a residential street or a university space, the main news reported by the ARI media is narrated from the truck, while a journalist investigates among the vendors, students or residents the situations that afflict or interest them. each community they visit.

For Ronna Rísquez, leader of the ARI research team, this is the way in which Venezuelan journalists combat the “constant and systematic censorship regime” that has been maintained for years, as denounced by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA). ) in its latest report.

“It seemed to us that one of the ways in which we can reach and inform is by going directly to the people, that is, searching directly for the people, bringing them the information. That’s why we call it a kind of ‘food truck’, but for news, as a kind of ‘delivery’, that is, we are going to bring you the news, we are going to bring you the contents”Rísquez told EFE.

In just over two months, since its trial period began, the ‘news track’ has visited at least two universities, two markets and about four communities within the capital of Venezuela, from which they hope to leave with several vehicles. towards other regions, as the project grows and they obtain support from the business sector. News also travels by bus

On board buses, the workers and volunteers of Bus TV, an ‘offline’ journalism initiative, also bring the news to Venezuelans in about 10 regions and have positioned themselves as another mechanism to overcome censorship.

Since 2017, this project has made more than 1,000 newscasts a year with its 60 reporters who use only a small cardboard frame to simulate a TV and are dedicated to reporting local information on the buses, while they make their routes, which allows them to get closer to people without access to the internet or with little time to find information on social networks.

This method, in addition to broadcasting newscasts “hyperlocal” in five neighborhoods of Caracas, it is a mechanism that tries to overcome blockades and combat misinformation in the absence of independent media, the founder of the project, Laura Helena Castillo, explained to EFE.

Their hope, like that of ARI mobile, is that the consolidation of initiatives like these will allow them to grow alliances with local media to tell what they promote on their websites and help the growth and development of journalism in Venezuela.

Source: Gestion