Feb. 11 - Journalists in Venezuela are taking to the streets to protest newsprint shortages, which have forced some papers to stop printing. Gavino Garay reports.
Print journalists in Venezuela are fed up. At least 10 newspapers have been forced to stop their printing operations due to a lack of paper. Around 100 reporters took to the streets in front of police stations, and the state currency board here in Caracas. The country's strict currency controls make importing printing materials, such as newsprint, difficult. Many of the materials needed must be bought outside the country with U.S. dollars, which is restricted by the Venezuelan government. Some say this a deliberate move by the government to silence the media. The President of the National Association of Journalists is scrambling to find a solution. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF JOURNALISTS, TINEO GUIA, SAYING: "There are more than 10 newspapers that have had to close their doors, like Noticiario and Delta Amacuro. Five more are at risk, including Carabobo and La Costa. Now, we're looking for ways so that at least 30 thousand families are not left without support, but there is something else, which is the right to inform." Because of the tough import restrictions, the country typically undergoes shortages like these, which range from a lack of flour... to toilette paper. The widely read newspaper El Nacional says it only has enough paper to last through February 14th. And while new online technologies offer consumers alternative ways to access the news, newspapers remain a staple for many. Protesters vow to take to the streets until the government responds to their demands.