How Bloomberg’s Venezuela bureau chief does her job
Patricia Laya. the bureau chief in Venezuela for Bloomberg News, spoke with UNC-Chapel Hill journalism professor Andy Bechtel about her job.
Here is an excerpt:
Q. Venezuela’s government presents unique challenges to journalists covering events and topics there. How do you navigate the political and economic landscape to find and report news?
A. Reporting on Venezuela can sometimes feel like stumbling in the dark. We have very little in regards to economic data, and whatever we do get is delayed by months or sometimes years and uploaded randomly on government websites.
One of our more significant challenges is that we depend on unofficial estimates or anecdotal evidence to report on one of history’s largest economic collapses. To help with that task, we created an inflation index that tracks the price of a single cup of café con leche every week.
Additionally, the government often intimidates, harasses or imprisons those who speak out on its shortcomings: from politicians and doctors to students and journalists. This had led many to be rightfully fearful of speaking to the press, knowing the high cost it may carry.
Because of this, we’re careful to protect our sources and rely on a variety of secure and encrypted calling and messaging services. We’re also careful to protect ourselves, taking additional security precautions when needed.
Read more here.