By Liz Migliorelli and Caitlin McNulty
In Venezuela today a grass-roots movement of community and alternative media is challenging the domination of private commercial media. Community oriented, non profit, non commercial, citizen and volunteer run media outlets are a crucial part of the democratic transformation of society that is occurring throughout Venezuela. Part of this transformation is the understanding of freedom of speech as a positive and basic right. This right includes universal access to a meaningful space for communication in addition to freedom from censorship. Freedom of expression as a positive right provides universal access to the means of communication. Political Analyst Diana Raby reiterates; “the technology of modern communications has to be made accessible to all, not merely as consumers but as participants and creators.” Community media is beginning to fill this role in Venezuela.