A Place Under Siege: Self-Censorship Strategies among Cuban State Media Journalists

Anne Natvig

Resumo


This article analyses how enemy images of the US in Cuba affect journalists in the Cuban state media. For the political elite, the image of US imperialistic interests has legitimated their continuing control over the media. Within these limits, journalists negotiate between professional ideals and a responsibility to protect the country. Journalists accept self-censorship of stories that, in theory, damage Cuban interests. At the same time, journalists see the US threat as inflated, and worry about the lack of relevant information available to the public. While journalists oppose censorship and self-censorship on everyday issues, attempts to change these practices are confined to theoretical discussions.

Este artigo analisa o modo como imagens hostis aos Estados Unidos em Cuba afetam os jornalistas dos meios de comunicação estatais cubanos. Para a elite política, a imagem dos interesses imperialistas dos Estados Unidos vem legitimar o seu controle permanente sobre os meios de comunicação. Com estas limitações, os jornalistas se veem obrigados a equilibrar os ideais profissionais com a sua responsabilidade de proteger a nação. Os jornalistas aceitam se autocensurar em matérias que, teoricamente, prejudicam os interesses cubanos. Ao mesmo tempo, os jornalistas consideram a ameaça norte-americana como sendo deliberadamente exagerada e preocupam-se com a falta de informação relevante que se encontra disponível ao público. Enquanto os jornalistas se confrontam com censura e autocensura em assuntos do quotidiano, as tentativas de mudar essas práticas estão confinadas às discussões teóricas.

Este artículo analiza el modo en que las imágenes de EE.UU. como enemigo de Cuba afectan a los periodistas de los medios de comunicaciones cubanos. Para la élite política, la imagen de los intereses imperialistas de EE.UU. ha contribuido a legitimar su control continuo de la prensa. Actuando dentro de esos límites, los periodistas se ven obligados a equilibrar sus ideales profesionales con la responsabilidad de proteger a su país. Los periodistas aceptan la autocensura en cuanto a noticias que en teoría puedan perjudicar los intereses cubanos. A la vez, los periodistas consideran que se exagera con respecto a la amenaza norteamericana, y se preocupan por la falta de acceso por parte del pueblo a información relevante. Los periodistas se oponen a la censura y la autocensura en los asuntos cotidianos, pero los esfuerzos aplicados a cambiar estas prácticas se limitan a debates teóricos.

Palavras-chave


Authoritarian regime; Cuban journalism; Enemy images; Self-censorship; State media

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25200/BJR.v15n2.2019.1172

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ISSN da versão online: 1981-9854

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