Hegemony reloaded

conatel06-02-2013Missing in the post 8-D aftermath newscycle is the recent decision to transfer the broadcasting regulatory authority CONATEL from the Vice-President’s office to the Communication & Information Ministry.

Basically the hegemony will not only be the main player in the current communicational arena, but now becomes the referee as well.

For years, CONATEL tried to present itself as separate from the MinCI and the State Media System (SIBCI). At first it was part of the pre-Chavez’s MTC (Transportation and Communications Ministry). After the MTC dissapeared, telecommunications was given its own government portfolio until it merged with the Science & Technology Ministry in 2009.

But CONATEL wasn’t included in said merger. It went instead to the Housing and Public Works Ministry of all places. Why? Because Diosdado Cabello was then in charge. But when the MTC was resurrected a year later, CONATEL went to the VP’s office instead.

Back then, the idea of keeping them apart was to give an image of independence (even if the regulator always gives whatever the hegemony does a free pass). But those times are gone. And even if the media landscape has shifted to match the official view (as the 8-D coverage from national and local TV can prove), the hegemon is not quite satisfied yet.

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