CUBA: A Media Profile
Media is the used around the world for the central purpose of sending and receiving information. To study the media in a country such as Cuba, you must consider the political, social and the cultural ideologies of the country. While most of the world is free flowing with information using mediums such as radio, television, the press and the Internet, Cuban people are exempted. The content within these mediums, reflect the ideologies of the Cuban government and also maintain a sense of nationalism. Information that reflects different ideologies of the Cuban government are not permitted on the island and are considered illegal.
It is dangerous for a society such as Cuba to repress the basic laws of human rights and exempt its people from the freedoms that we Americans take for granted such as; freedom of expression, press, association and assembly.
This document is divided into two parts. Part one, Cuba: Media Profile, which will explore the media and its function in Cuba. Part two is titled Media Under a Communist Regime. This part will exhibit the laws pertaining to media in Cuba, and the crimes and punishments of independent journalist trying to survive in Cuba.
During the early 1960s, a class struggle was waged within media outlets all over Cuba.
This struggle reflected the major changes taking place all over Cuban society. The Revolution’s aftermath resulted in the nationalization of Cuban media. Mass media information was no longer subject to private corporations but became a public asset. The Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (IRCT), was created to supervise and manage radio and television station island-wide.
In Cuba today there are 62 radio stations across the island, staffed by 911 journalists. (Salwen 84) Cuba operates one international short wave radio station, Radio Havana which broadcast in nine languages.
(84) Radio Rebelde, Radio Progreso, Radio Reloj, Radio Musical National and Radio Enciclopledia are the national station heard throughout the country. There are 38 provincial and municipal stations and 92 community radio station that focus on local issues and have more limited air. (84)
Radio broadcasts plays an important role in Cuba. With the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba has found itself in an of the economic crisis. With this crisis came drastic cuts in newspaper and magazine information, and a reduction in television broadcast time. (88) This meant that much of what was covered by these media became the responsibility of the radio.
Television broadcasting in Cuba began in the late 1940s. During this time Cuba was used by businesses as grounds for new technologies, making Cuba a world pioneer in television. (104) In Cuba today there are two national television channels, one international channel, and eight regional channels.(104)
There are many households in Cuba with a television sets, but they are old and outdated. The end to trade with Eastern Europe has led to shortages of parts and television sets. Cuba is no longer the breaking ground for new technologies.
The economic blockade has severely impacted media production in Cuba. This can be seen in the use of aged transmitters, and almost the obsolete analog technologies that have not yet been replaced. There is also a great concern for the future of radio and television image and sound archives. Irreparable losses are occurring due to the lack of air-conditioning and rise in humidity. Due to lack of audio and videocassettes, producers have been re-recording over tapes that have already been used.
Of all the media, the print media was hit the hardest by the economic crisis.
(39) Because the printing of periodicals depended entirely on the import of newsprint and other supplies from the former Soviet Union, daily publications of magazines and other periodicals was severely cut. (39) By 1994, the number of daily newspaper that has been published weekly in the country was lass than half of what it had been in 1989.(39 ) As a result of the crisis some 300 print media journalists, that is 10% of the total island , found themselves jobless.(39)
In Cuba today there are three national newspapers in circulation, Granma, Trabajadores and Juventud Rebelde. Granma is the voice of the Central Committee of the Cuban .