Ecuador: On eve of elections in Ecuador, legal fears hold back in-depth coverage | Knight Center for Journalism

A few days before the¬†presidential and parliamentarian elections in Ecuador, which will take place on Feb. 17, fears of lawsuits and other legal liabilities are holding back journalistic coverage. According to a report by non-profit¬†Fundamedios, which analyzed the content of 10 newspapers between Jan. 4 and 20, there have been almost no opinion, context and analysis pieces written during the campaigns season. In contrast, plain informative stories represented more than 90 percent of their content. The main protagonists were not the candidates, but the National Electoral Council, which is mentioned in 43 percent of the stories. Some journalists and freedom of expression experts believe several news outlets are trying to avoid legal problems under Ecuador’s Code of Democracy — the country’s electoral law. In January 2012, using the Code, President and re-election candidate Rafael Correa succeeded in pushing through the National Assembly new restrictions on the news coverage of the elections. The most controversial one was article 203, which called media outlets to “abstain from promoting directly or indirectly” any candidate through special reports or any other way.

Full Article: On eve of elections in Ecuador, legal fears hold back in-depth coverage | Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

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