Freedom of the press and tax law

Probably, the title of this publication has no logical sense, therefore, I hope that in the development of the manuscript each one of you, can elucidate the controversial approach embodied in the title, we understand by freedom of the press, at the unobjectionable principle of preserving communication and expression as a right to be exercised freely, without the intervention of the state, or any organism that establishes the prohibition of previous censorship.

The previous preamble is framed by governmental decisions and standards that some countries have in order to create pressure on the freedom of the press, through indirect forms, for example; regulatory mechanisms against the styles used by the media to transmit information, establishment of censorship against the plurality of information, and closure of the physical spaces or infrastructures where the media operate.

Fig. 2 Some states exert pressure on the media by closing physical or digital spaces to prevent disclosure. Image of public domain, Author: Agnali, 2016

This last aspect, as well as the closing of the physical spaces, throughout time has been a categorical tactic used by the government institutions so that the media are subordinated to their interests, as occurred a few days ago in Venezuela, where the tax administration entity or SENIAT, as this Venezuelan institution is identified, decided to close for a period of five days, the facilities of several media, among them a recognized national newspaper based in the state of Zulia.

The media to which I refer, is the famous and historical newspaper PANORAMA recognized for presenting information in printed edition since 1914, but since 2019 began to circulate digitally on the Internet, this due to lack of materials to continue with their usual printing, product of the economic crisis that Venezuela is going through in the last five years.

Fig. 3 The closure of the Panorama newspaper for five days was based on the failure to comply with formal duties of the Venezuelan tax laws. Image of public domain, Author: Falco, 2010

The reason given for closing the headquarters of the Panorama newspaper for five days is the repeated failure to comply with the formal duties of the Venezuelan tax laws, an element that can obviously be interpreted as a tactic used by this tax agency to subordinate this important national media. I hope to see your opinions in the comments, do you think this unilateral action is a guarantee of freedom of information and freedom of expression?.


[1] Pearson M. Press freedom, social media and the citizen. Pacific Journalism Review. 2013; 19; 2: 215 - 227. Article: Online access

[2] Himelboim I., and Limor Y. Media perception of freedom of the press: A comparative international analysis of 242 codes of ethics. 2008. Article: Online access

[3] Colegio Nacional de Periodistas. Seniat clausura por cinco días al diario Panorama por supuesto incumplimiento tributario. Article: Online access


The cover image was designed by the author: @lupafilotaxia, incorporating the public domain image background: Thomas W, 2020

Original manuscript, uploaded from the Project HOPE community website


One could not expect less, and that they would use the tax laws as a means of pressure, since, although they would be in their right to apply due process, in this case this attempts against the exercise of information, a fundamental right.

Of course, it is a visible pressure tactic, the measure should have come in other circumstances, because by closing several media in other regions of the country, the tactic and intention became evident. Because of the short period of time, I believe that this is only a call for cooperation, and not the beginning of a process of greater magnitude. Warm greetings friend @emiliomoron

Greetings dear friend @lupafilotaxia a very controversial topic, because to comply with the tax legislation is a duty, but to close the newspaper without mediating, undoubtedly is a measure of pressure
and warning, that it may come to attack the freedom of the press, especially if it becomes a habit.

See you later, have an excellent week !

Right @amestyj, the situation is delicate and more if this type of action, ends up becoming a habit, the context has generated concern, mainly because, well known that there are media that have failed to fulfill their roles, and no measure has been applied to them, from my point of view PANORAMA has been one of the most balanced media in the country, so it seems that the decision corresponds to other interests or officials in particular to make bribery tactics. Thank you for reading, and making your point.

hi dear @lupafilotaxia
It is the sad reality of our country, with that they do not earn anything, but they love doing that type of activities, I do not comment more because my head starts to hurt

Greetings friend @ramsesuchiha

I think you should express what you think about it, because it is a way to release tension, it is not healthy to stay with emotions that hurt you, I tell you that this unfortunate situation that happened to PANORAMA upset me a lot because of the way it fell, to the point that I decided to write about it to release tension, since I am a faithful reader of this Zuliano media. Thank you for your visit.