5 October 2011

Alert

Official telecast used to discredit TV journalist, interrupt her programme


Incident details

Harassment

Janet Hinostroza, Journalist

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(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On 29 September 2011, the Presidency's Communications Department (Secretaría de Comunicación de la Presidencia, SECOM) ordered the broadcast of a "national telecast" that interrupted the interview program "La Mañana 24 Horas", broadcast on the Teleamazonas station. The telecast was aimed at discrediting the program host, Janet Hinostroza, of whom they said, "her poor sense of journalism doesn't allow her to see beyond her opposition-based political interests".

The telecast was only broadcast through Hinostroza's program. For nearly six minutes it distorted statements made by law student Alejandra Cevallos, who had been interviewed on the program the previous day. Cevallos is one of 13 people accused of sabotage and terrorism for bursting into the facilities of the state-owned Ecuador TV on 30 September 2010.

The official telecast referred to Cevallos as a "liar" and questioned Hinostroza's professionalism. "There cannot be any doubt anymore concerning Janet Hinostroza's complicity with the opposition. She is caught between journalism and politics and cannot hide her complete affinity with the opposition. She is one more journalist who is doing her best to distort with lies the existence of the conspiracy which led to the events of 30 September," said part of the voiceover.

After the telecast, Hinostroza resumed hosting her TV program. She called on the national communications secretary, Fernando Alvarado, to stop wasting Ecuadorian people's money on programs whose sole purpose is to tarnish individuals' honor.

"You are accusing me of a lot; you should be careful with these slanderous statements. After all, you have set the price of people's honor yourselves. I could sue you for the lies you have just uttered," the journalist said.

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