Efecto Cocuyo

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A photojournalist works in a Caracas hotel room during the third day of a massive power outage. Alongside power cuts, journalists must navigate internet blackouts imposed as Nicolás Maduro's government attempts to silence news of the opposition. (AFP/Juan Barreto)

Maduro’s internet blackout stifles news of Venezuela crisis

One of the world’s biggest news stories on March 4 was the daring return to Venezuela of opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó, who faced possible arrest by the authoritarian regime of Nicolás Maduro. But most Venezuelans were unable to follow his homecoming.

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The near deserted newsroom of Caracas daily El Nacional, pictured in October. Like many Venezuelan outlets, several of its journalists are in exile to escape legal action and the deepening economic crisis. (AFP/Federico Parra)

Lawsuits and economic crisis drive Venezuela’s journalists into exile

When Ewald Scharfenberg, the founding editor of the Venezuelan investigative news website Armando.Info, holds editorial meetings, he pulls out his mobile phone. That’s because most of his reporters are in Venezuela while Scharfenberg lives and works in neighboring Colombia.

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Journalists gather in the press gallery of Venezuela's National Assembly, after a five-year ban was overturned. (AP/Fernando Llano)

Venezuela’s national assembly reopens to the press after five-year ban

When security guards opened the doors to Venezuela’s colonial-era National Assembly building last Wednesday, I was among the dozens of reporters who swarmed inside. Even though the day’s legislative session would not be called to order for another three hours, every seat in the press galley, located on the second-floor balcony overlooking the chamber, was…

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After leaving Globovisión, Alberto Ravell, pictured in 2010, set up critical online news site La Patilla. (AFP/Miguel Gutierrez)

In Venezuela, online news helps journalists get their voices back

When Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was rumored to be gravely ill four years ago, his socialist government was tightlipped about the diagnosis. Then in June 2011 a source in Havana, Cuba, where Chávez was being treated, told Nelson Bocaranda, a veteran columnist for the Caracas daily El Universal, that the president had cancer.

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