Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Public Service Broadcasting

The departure of the presenter of the late night news on Telemadrid, the public television channel for the region of Madrid, is in itself a news story today. It is being strongly suggested that Germán Yanke is leaving the channel because of his refusal to bend in the face of political pressure to promote the conspiracy theories on the Madrid bombings. Yanke himself is hardly a left-winger and the political manipulation of news coverage on this channel is completely evident, with so-called analysts being used to present a view of the news that is always favourable to the Partido Popular, the party in power in the regional government. Regional president Esperanza Aguirre seems to act at times as if she is the leader of the opposition at national level, and Yanke’s removal comes shortly after what is said to have been a tense interview he conducted with Aguirre last week. With elections coming up next year it is only to be expected that the propagandistic use of this channel will increase, and Aguirre is aligned with the hard-line sector of the PP that uses the conspiracy theories in an attempt to provoke a political crisis. We can expect Telemaguirre to be even more unwatchable as a result.

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