Journalists Dismissed After TV Network Requires Pro-Keiko Coverage

At least 10 journalists from América Televisión and Canal N were forced out of their jobs after they rejected being forced to produce blatant pro-Fujimori media coverage in what has been described as an “indirect dismissal” by the National Association of Journalists of Peru.

Staff from the news program Cuarto Poder, including its director, producers and reporters, had been critical of orders given by the network’s journalistic director, Gilberto Hume Hurtado, to support neoliberal presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori.

Staff of Cuarto Poder submitted a letter to the board of América Televisión voicing concerns about the directives to produce biased news in May, protesting the decision to air Fujimori’s final campaign event while omitting coverage of Pedro Castillo’s closing rally. They also said that in a meeting, Gilberto Hume told them to support the Fuerza Popular candidate to the detriment of the Perú Libre candidate.

According to La Republica, Hume replaced Clara Elvira Ospina, who was fired after expressing to Fujimori in a meeting that she would be impartial and would cover both candidacies equally, refusing to put América Televisión and Canal N’s programs at the service of the Fuerza Popular candidate’s campaign.

The circumstances upon which the staff members were forced out of their jobs aren’t public, though a statement by the National Association of Journalists of Peru says they were “forced to end their working relationship with the company (..) due to the hostile environment in which they have worked in the last months, after denouncing and rejecting the pretension of the journalistic management to denaturalize their informative and investigative activity.”

Working class Peruvians have denounced the undeniably anti-Pedro Castillo coverage and deliberate disinformation campaign coming from national media throughout the election campaign, in television, radio and newspapers as Castillo led the polls.

Across various networks, outlets injected stories of looming price surges for food items and basic necessities under a Castillo presidency, invoked fear with constant discussion of terrorism, and produced stories with anti-communist, anti-leftist and anti-Venezuela angles.