Press freedom in the country has not improved, President Evo Morales Ayma has created a hostile climate for media outlets and particularly media owners. “I go by what the people tell me,” Morales said. “I don’t care what the press says; I will continue working for Bolivia.” This statement is typical of Morales’s rhetoric regarding the Bolivian press since he took power less than two years ago. In an interview with Radio Árbol, Morales said that he is no longer bothered by “destructive” and “inaccurate” criticism by some media outlets, joking that he will become a journalist in order to “orient the people.” Recently he even went so far as to warn — only half-jokingly — that he might “nationalize” the La Paz newspaper La Razón in response to its allegedly inaccurate reporting. Morales considers the media to be his administration’s primary adversary, claiming that media owners are the ones who prevent journalists from “telling the truth” and that they are bent on “discrediting” and “irritating” his government. On more than one occasion, Morales has said that in Bolivia there is not only press freedom, but also “licentiousness” in the sense that some journalists have “the right to insult and humiliate” the “Indian” president. A recent report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) concluded that President Morales and his administration have adopted a hostile stance toward the media, increasingly promoting concerns over possible restrictions currently under consideration. The proposals include a provision subjecting freedom of speech to the limits of accuracy, as well as creating the position of a media ombudsman who would protect the public from defamation by news items manipulated or distorted by the media. Also being proposed is a measure that would ban media owners from involvement in other lines of business, giving the government the authority to revoke frequency concessions. Some of the government’s complaints may be justified due to the biased, irresponsible manner in which certain television channels and radio stations have covered various stories. Some sensationalistic media outlets harp on mistakes made by authorities or feature them more prominently than other news stories in order to portray the government in a negative light. The government intends to use the state-owned media to spread its political propaganda, which is exactly how previous administrations used these outlets. There is, however, an additional factor in the mix: campesino, or community-based radio stations are being established, with funding from Venezuela, to operate as part of a network called Radios de los Pueblos Originarios de Bolivia (Radio Stations of the Original Peoples of Bolivia). The government also plans to establish television stations that can become tools for political indoctrination in rural areas. In other noteworthy developments, Bolivia’s telecommunications authority seized the broadcasting equipment of Channel 20 of Cochabamba, whose operating license is valid until 2023. Station manager Marianela Montenegro views this as retaliation for criticism of the government that aired on a news program. In Santa Cruz de la Sierra, journalists from the newspaper El Mundo and from the television station Red Uno were assaulted and injured while covering a street demonstration on August 28. Also at the same event, journalists from the EFE news agency and Channel 7 were threatened. Meanwhile, in La Paz journalists from the A television network and Red Uno were violently assaulted while covering an event at Universidad Mayor San Andrés. Associations of newspaper editors and press workers asked the government to present concrete evidence, including names, to corroborate the accusation levied by Presidential Minister Juan Ramón Quintana that journalists were being paid by an agency of the U.S. government to destabilize Bolivia’s democratic government. The National Press Association described these accusations as serious, while the La Paz Journalists Association announced that as soon as the evidence is submitted, it will bring internal charges against those allegedly involved.