15 May 2009

The Spanish media manipulates, the Basque media censors

Yesterday I sadly assisted to a disgusting sight reading a modern, apparently open newspaper from the Basque Country. In the morning I was reading about an issue regarding the Spanish public television manipulating information about the Spanish hymn during a match drowned out by fans of both teams , where people were sending their opinion through the comments. The Basque Country and Catalonia (the teams) are two regions of Spain where a part of the population claims not to be Spanish and there are some radical sectors proposing a complete independence.

Some people commented that it was nonsense for both communities to play a match dedicated to the king of Spain, benefit from it, and then tell they are not part of Spain by drowning out the hymn and showing regional flags to the king. These and other people were having an exchange of opinions and a set of conversations in a polite and correct way.

In the evening, I came back to see what was going on, but some of the most polite and reasonable comments had been silently deleted from the site by someone from the newspaper. Not only one or two, but whole conversations and responses between individuals. Then, some other comments appeared talking about censorship in the newspaper. They were also quickly removed from the site.

It is quite sarcastic that a newspaper which claims to be moderate, open and modern, and that was, in fact, talking about censorship by the Spanish public television, has staff members whose mission is to read all the comments left by users and censor the ones that do not match the political ideas of the newspaper.

Thus, if you read the comments of news in the newspaper, you will get a wrong idea of the kind of predominant people in the Basque Country: radical independentists that have some kind of problem about being a part of Spain, even though they are one of the most favored communities in the whole country, having complete autonomy in terms of education, health, economy, media, meteorology, traffic, etc., when most of the others don't. But, wait, you are forgetting the opinion of people that has been erased, and of people that do not bother in wasting their time trying because they know what is going to happen. Most of them are by not means radical independentists although they love their region, and have no problems in being part of a bigger community with a lot of advantages.

Both news about censorship are very sad for us citizens. No talk is possible with censorship in the media. At least, the manipulation of the Spanish hymn was reported by other media. But what about the second type of manipulation, about making a whole community of thought dissapear? So be aware about censorship in the media, even in apparently democratic, modern and open countries and regions. It does exist. Please do not get a predefined idea about a contry or a group of people by listening to the news. Talk to people, travel, and read from different sources. You will get a very different opinion of the one and official given by media.

And, for media: Please don't make readers waste their precious time commenting and include the following warning in the comments: "Any opinion not following the political view or line of thought of this newspaper, even when polite and reasonable, will be silently erased with no previous warning. If you are going to expose a different opinion from ours, please do not use the comments section".


cuentista said...


Javifields said...

pues sí, al menos los votos están allí y se pueden contar y pueden poner y quitar gobiernos