photo_venezuelaAMARC EU TEAM – At the beginning of June the Popular Communication Law draft have been included in the discussion agenda of Venezuela National Assembly of. This document tries to fill the existent loophole in the area of citizen’s communication, and to officialise the participation of the State in the development process of the increasing number of community, alternative and popular media organisations.

This draft was written in 2012-13 as part of the different regulations regarding what Venezuelan people called “Popular Power”, which aims to evolve the traditionally structured country into a community country. Now, the Ministry of Communication and Information have prepared different meetings and conferences with experts and broadcasters to collect suggestions, advices and best practice and present them to the policy makers. The points of concern for this expert group are:

  • This draft is very focused in the communication linked to a limited specific territory and dependent to community organisations. So this draft left out the possibilities of alternative media which is not defined by a geographical community, but with a national or even international coverage. So they propose to include the expression “popular alternative media” without territorial link.
  •  The draft creates a Popular Community National Council, which will be formed by eight members from the political administration and seven members from the popular media. The experts would like the policy makers to include specifically the representation of the different media formats existing (radio, TV, press, internet…).
  • As the draft establishes, the legal status of the broadcasters will be “companies of social and community productions”. In the opinion of the experts this will exclude all the other projects with different legal status (associations, foundations, cooperatives…) that are currently legitimate communicators and, by so, forcing them to change their status. So they recommend to include these type of organisations in the regulation too.