Censorship and persecution: net closes on Venezuelan media

first_img Amid a deepening political crisis and continuing opposition street protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s administration, Venezuela’s security forces and paramilitary groups have stepped up efforts to silence the media. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns their attempts to suppress free speech and the freedom to inform. Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives News to go further New wave of censorship targeting critical media outlets Follow the news on Venezuela RSF_en Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information January 13, 2021 Find out more Organisation News VenezuelaAmericas Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ViolenceFreedom of expression August 25, 2020 Find out more May 15, 2017 – Updated on May 16, 2017 Censorship and persecution: net closes on Venezuelan media Two journalists murdered just days apart in Venezuela News Members of the police, Bolivarian National Guard, Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) and pro-government paramilitary groups have repeatedly targeted, insulted or arbitrarily arrested reporters covering opposition demonstrations, and have seized and destroyed their equipment.According to the National Press Workers Union (SNTP), the first four months of the year saw more than 200 attacks on journalists. During the most recent national day of protest, no fewer than 19 journalists throughout the country were the victims of acts of aggression by the security forces.Mounting censorshipIn addition to these acts of physical violence, the authorities have been finding other ways to limit media coverage of the protests and to censor independent and opposition media outlets.Websites and radio stations such as Hit 90.7 FM, Studio 92.1, Punto Fijo Stereo 90.3 and Jet have been closed, while opposition TV stations that have been broadcasting coverage of the protests online, such as Vivo Play, VPI (Venezolanos por la Información) and Capitolio TV, have been blocked or deprived of a broadcast signal by the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL).The same fate was inflicted on foreign TV broadcasters, including Argentina’s TodoNoticias and Colombia’s El Tiempo Televisión, on 19 April. They were the latest international media outlets to be harassed in a range of ways that have included expulsions, the seizure of material and equipment, and censorship.“The Maduro government’s growing authoritarianism is extremely worrying,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “Its violent harassment of journalists is in the process of destroying the freedom to inform in Venezuela, a country where it was already very difficult for independent and opposition media to work. The authorities must stop obstructing journalists, whose reporting is vital during such turbulent times.”Venezuela’s devastating two-year-old economic, social and political crisis has intensified since President Maduro’s abortive attempt in March to transfer power from the National Assembly to the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) and thereby govern by decree with no checks and balances.A climate of widespread violence has accompanied the many demonstrations called by the opposition to demand early general elections without waiting for Maduro’s presidential term to end in December 2018. At least 40 Venezuelans have died during protests since the start of April.Aside from the censorship, one of the gravest consequences of this persecution of the media is the difficulty that Venezuelans now have in quickly obtaining reliable and objective information about the crisis and about the acts of violence by the government against its own citizens.Venezuela is ranked 137th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. News VenezuelaAmericas Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ViolenceFreedom of expression June 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

How to screw your members (and get away with it)

first_img 99SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bo McDonald Bo McDonald is president of Your Marketing Co. A marketing firm that started serving credit unions nearly a decade ago, offering a wide range of services including web design, branding, … Web: yourmarketing.co Details How was your last visit to the DMV? Did you walk right in, waltz up to an open window, renew your license, and leave within five minutes? How about your trip to the prescription counter at your neighborhood drugstore? If you did, please forward me your secret. Forbes magazine lists shoddy customer service as #6 in the top ten of consumer complaints.You may not mean to screw your members.  In fact, you probably want just the opposite. But when you turn a blind eye to service standards and focus on growth despite poor service, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Your members have made a conscious decision: “Hey, I’m going to trust you with my hard-earned paycheck. I’m even going to do one of the most vulnerable things a human can do—share my finances with you—so I can borrow some of your money.”What do they often get in return? A loan officer who can’t be bothered to return a phone call. A teller who is too busy snapchatting. A team leader who is too task saturated to recognize there’s a problem with either one of those scenarios. How’s that for a “thank you” to those members who have chosen you above any of the dozen options within a few miles of your branch?Businesses are losing $62 billion per year due to poor customer service. (To put it in context, that’s up $20 billion since 2013 or a 210% increase in just four years.) Here’s some additional perspective for you:If a member follows up multiple times regarding the same issue, this is often considered “multiple problems” because it takes separate amounts of time to contact support and get a resolution.Bad service enables small single problems to turn into multiple larger issues. Too often the opportunity to fix the initial issue is missed. The risk of members leaving is already scary enough, but a large base of price sensitive (read: I’m totally in this for myself) mass transit to another financial institution is a given.When I was a radio DJ, statistics showed that no more than 2% of your listeners would pick up the phone and call in. The same holds true for unhappy members. Most of your members won’t bother contacting you when they run into an issue. Instead, they’ll sit in silence, holding a grudge. To make matters worse, they will not even consider you the next time they need a loan.A recent survey done by American Express found that while 46% of Americans say they always tell others about good service experiences, more people say they talk about poor service. In fact, 60% said they always share the bad experience. Plus, they tell nearly three times as many people. Good news: You’re getting that coveted “word of mouth marketing” for free. Bad news: It may be costing you dearly.What’s the true cost of turning a blind eye to poor service?86% of consumers said they’ve quit doing business with a company due to a bad customer experience.51% of consumers admitted they’d only try to contact support once before giving up on a purchase.When asked about why they’d given up on a company’s customer support, 73% of customers cited incompetent (and rude) replies as their primary reason.Loyal customers are cheaper to retain and are willing to spend more. 78% of them will recommend your product to others after a great experience.Think you’re doing great when it comes to service? While 80% of companies believe they provide a “superior customer experience,” only 8% of customers agreed.My advice is this: before you start budgeting for marketing in 2018, understand how much opportunity might be lost due to poor service. Does your member experience truly live up to what you think the experience is? So much focus is being put on growth at credit unions that current members are being overlooked. “But we already have them!” Yup. But do you have all of their business? Could you be earning more by treating them well and asking for additional ways to serve? Remember, you’re serving a member, not a life sentence. Learn how to enjoy your work.last_img read more

Governor Wolf Honors Flight 93 Passengers, Families at the 17th Annual September 11 Observance

first_img September 11, 2018 National Issues,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf delivered the following remarks as prepared at the 17th Annual September 11 Observance in Shanksville:Thank you all for being here as we remember those we lost 17 years ago today.Thank you to Governor Ridge, whose leadership in the days after 9/11 steadied our commonwealth.Thank you to Governor Schweiker, who I have the honor of introducing today and who provided necessary leadership after Governor Ridge went to help the country respond to the horrifying events of that day.Thank you to President Trump for joining us in Pennsylvania for this solemn remembrance.And thank you to the families, friends, loved ones who 17 years ago found their lives changed.We all owe a debt of gratitude to the family members who learned of the attacks happening in New York and Washington, and took decisive, heroic actions.Since I became governor, I have been honored to speak before you and offer what thanks I can on behalf of myself and the commonwealth for your sacrifice.This year, with the dedication of the Tower of Voices, there are new avenues of remembrance and new opportunities to reflect on the impossible sacrifices made in the skies above us.And where there has been unspeakable tragedy, the families whose loved ones were on that flight have built a place of aspiration, hope, and honor.Right here in Pennsylvania.We thank you for that.Each year all Pennsylvanians remember and honor your loved ones.We hail them as heroes and we recall their actions, and listen to their words.Hero is one of the most overused words in any language.We may bestow this title too frequently.But the people who found themselves on Flight 93, in the skies above us, are heroes.The first responders and everyday citizens that came to the crash site are heroes.And they all fit the definition in the most laudable way imaginable.They did not know who they were saving.They did not know where the plane would head or whose lives it may take.They only knew that their fellow Americans were at risk and they sacrificed everything for them.Their actions were heroic.Their sacrifice was patriotic.We all hope that faced with the same situation, we’d make the same choices.But it is no guarantee because the people on that flight we truly special, they were true heroes.And on behalf of all Pennsylvanians, I again give our deepest thanks and our most sincere gratitude.In the days following the attack, Pennsylvania was lucky to be led by individuals who rose to the challenge before them.They suddenly led a state that became a battlefield, in a country beset by distress, in a world sieged with fear.But where there was uncertainty, they led with strength.Where there was division, they led with empathy.Where there was fear, they led with compassion.Where there was cravenness, they led with courage.And while they awoke with the same fear, the worry for their families, children, wives, that we all had in the days following the attack, they were stoic and strong.And they helped all of us rebuild our structures and our confidence.Governors Ridge and Schweiker and their colleagues nationally set a path toward recovery.And their dedication to this very site has given thousands of visitors a means to remember true heroism and real patriotism.I thank both of them for their inspiration and service.And it is my honor to introduce Pennsylvania’s 44th governor, Governor Mark Schweiker. Governor Wolf Honors Flight 93 Passengers, Families at the 17th Annual September 11 Observancecenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more