Accountability systems

Although established in the Constitution, there is no strong accountability culture in Venezuela (Narváez, 2018). Starting with the Conatel, who has not fulfilled its duty of publishing a yearly report of the financing of broadcasters since 2015, there are no national initiatives in order to ensure an accountability system for media and telecommunication companies. Some of the most active organisations in this matter are NGOs like the aforementioned Espacio Público and, especially, Medianálisis. They have been forced to partially abandon their control of how media find their sources or the quality of journalism and communication in order to focus on the defence of the rights of professionals, consumers and companies of this field, but they continue publishing reports on the Social Responsibility or the quality of journalistic activities of the media. Something similar, but to a smaller extent, happens with the professional organisations, such as CNP or IPYS. CNP, in charge of assuring the compliance with the Code of Ethics and the Law of journalism praxis (see next chapter), plays one of the main roles in controlling the adequacy of journalism to standards of quality and responsibility.

There are also some individual proposals, like the ombudsman of the newspaper El Nacional, created in 1998, which is one of the oldest and most recognised experiences of this kind in Latin America (Sánchez, 2001). Nonetheless, the precarious situation of media and their lack of resources, together with the strong control from the government and the lack of tradition of accountability systems in the whole Latin American region, has made it difficult for stable accountability systems to develop in Venezuelan media.