In an article published on their website Wednesday morning, Newscast CM& said Petro was deliberately controlling what the press could record and broadcast, warning of an “alarming and disturbing slope towards totalitarianism in Gustavo Petro’s approach to the press.”
Petro responded firmly, stating, “There is no policy of providing video [footage] without counterpoint as CM& has suggested.”
CM& claimed his style is to ban reporters from using their own kit at press events, instead providing his own edited footage.
At a recent press conference about banning bullfighting he had done just that, it said, denying journalists the chance to record their own material.
It asked, “What is happening with Gustavo Petro and his sense of openness, democracy, liberalness and respect of the freedom of the press?”
In newspaper El Espectador, Petro said the recorded video of his bullfighting statement had been followed by an open press conference in which networks RCN and Caracol had indeed filmed their own footage. “I don’t know if CM& was there,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
The mayor said, “I believe that CM& should have asked about their own presence at my interviews before offering such insulting information. After CM&’s bullish publicity campaign I can only say that the press must be independent from those in power.”