Spanish state broadcaster scraps 'censorship' plan

23rd September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spain's state broadcaster Friday officially scrapped a plan to let political representatives review news stories before they air, reversing course in the face of widespread outrage.

Members of the RTVE board unanimously revoked the decision they had made just two days earlier.

"It was never the intention of board members who voted for the measure or those who allowed its approval by abstaining to interfere with the news staff's work nor, even less, affect their professional independence," they said in a statement.

The board -- composed of major political party and union representatives -- had stunned journalists by deciding to give themselves access to the station's internal editing system for news reports.

It would have allowed the politicians to see all the journalists' headlines, videos, interviews and connections in real time -- while they are being worked on and before they are shown to the public.

The move, coming ahead of a general election on November 20, was condemned by journalists, party leaders and the public, with some likening it to a return to the practices of the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

© 2011 AFP

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