Unusual Correction to a Movie Review

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The Superintendent of Information and Communication, Carlos Ochoa, was annoyed by an article about the recent Oscar-winning film ‘Spotlight.’ The film tells the true story of the Boston Globe’s investigation into child sex abuse by priests in the United States. In his opinion piece, journalist Arturo Torres commented that this kind of investigative journalism, with systematic publication of information in installments, could not be undertaken in Ecuador because of the risk of prosecution for so-called ‘media lynching,’ as established in the Organic Law of Communication of Ecuador.

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In his correction, which took up half a page in the newspaper El Comercio on March 12, Ochoa stated that Torres was ‘not telling the truth’ and, contrary to the journalist’s opinion, the Law encourages investigation. The newspaper made clear that it had been forced to publish Ochoa’s statement, even though Article 24 of the Law of Communication stipulates corrections only when direct reference is made to a person or group whose rights or reputation are affected. “In this case no reference was made to the Superintendent or the Superintendency of Communication,” clarified El Comercio.

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