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Tue Feb 19, 2019, 12:50 AM

More than half of Colombia's media reliant on state propaganda funds

by Emily Hart February 18, 2019

Colombia’s media is overly reliant on shady contracts to publish or create government propaganda, press freedom agency FLIP has revealed in its annual report.

The vast majority of Colombia’s media outlets depend on ‘official advertising’ for 40 to 50% of their revenue, which is compromising the news outlets’s ability to report independently.

The mechanism of “official advertising” allows authorities to create contracts with media outlets in order to spread propaganda about projects, policies, and plans without media scrutiny. However, weak regulation and systematic abuse allows huge expenditure on propaganda, often presented as authentic news coverage.

. . .

This financial dependency has created a system of patronage in which state bodies are able to reward those who are in line with official message and politics, and to deprive those who dissent of advertising revenue. This system is weaponized to spread propaganda and silence criticism.


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