New editor plans to ‘open up’ the pages of national newspaper; Some Correistas object

Jul 19, 2017 | 29 comments

The new editor of the government-owned newspaper El Telégrafo says he’s getting rid of the ideology.

New El Telégrafo editor Fernando Larenas. (El Comercio)

Appointed Monday by President Lenin Moreno, career journalist Fernando Larenas told the staff that the newspaper will be independent of direct government control. “We will return to the best practices of journalism at El Telégrafo,” he said. “Ours will be the kind of journalism that does not exclude anyone, public or the private, from our pages, and the kind that does not work for any political party or for a particular ideology.”

Larenas said he would end the weekly meetings with the president’s office attended by previous El Telégrafo director Orlando Perez. “We will no longer be a tool for the government although the government, like all parts of society, will have access to our pages.”

In a Tuesday radio interview, Larenas said that Moreno fully supports the philosophy of “journalistic openness.”

Larenas replaces Perez who was appointed during the Rafael Correa administration. Perez is on leave from the newspaper following his December conviction for physically assaulting his girlfriend, an intern at the newspaper.

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The appointment of Larenas drew sharp criticism from two leaders of Alianza País (AP), one claiming that it was an insult to Correa’s presidential legacy. “This is a terrible decision. El Telélgrafo is an important tool in the Citizen’s Revolution and to put it back in the hands of the mainstream media is a mistake,” Tweeted AP’s Gabriela Rivadeneira. Marcela Aguiñaga, an AP party director, Tweeted that Larenas’ appointment “turns back the clock on the revolution.”

Larenas is the former editor of Quito-based El Comercio.

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