All the news that is fit to print
And it’s got nothing to do with reporting, let alone breaking news.
For nearly 50 years, all “professional” journalists in Cuba have been employed by the government on government-owned outlets and their riding instructions have been quite explicit: to promote, support and protect the regime.
Still, it’s confronting to see these instructions in black and white, as they are in this report published in the provincial newspaper Ahora.
The paper reports that a new journalism course has been introduced at the University of Holguin, in eastern Cuba, taking in its first batch of students this academic year.
There are 30 students in the course, including two from the Armed Forces and intriguingly, one from the Ministry of the Interior (MINIT), which comprises the regular police force as well as the regime’s secret police apparatus.
The official opening of the course was attended by the Communist Party’s head of ideology, Rolando Alfonso Borges, as well as the president of what must be surely the world’s most useless journalists' union, the Union de Periodistas de Cuba.
During the ceremony, the head of the new Faculty of Journalism, identified as Beatriz Rodriguez, produly explained to the assembled dignitaries that the teaching staff were there not just to impart to students a high level of technical and professional expertise in the craft of journalism.
Ms Rodriguez added the staff were there to ensure also that the newly-educated journalists left the course with “un profundo compromiso” – or total loyalty - to the Revolution, the Communist Party and Fidel Castro.
No conflict of interest there.