Ecuador launches state-run news agency

Ecuador has established its first state-run news agency amid efforts by the lawmakers in the Andean nation to create a government-controlled watchdog which regulates privately-owned news outlets.

Quito has launched the Ecuadorian and South American News Agency (ANDES) to “strengthen the image” of the country, the office of President Rafael Correa said on Tuesday, AFP reported.

The state-run news outlet will cooperate closely with other news agencies across the continent, including Venezuela‘s Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, Télam from Argentina, Spain‘s EFE and Peru‘s Andina de Radiodifusión y Television, the presidential office said.

Ecuadoran president Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado‘s attempt to regulate the private news channels in the country has faced with political oppositions both from the local news outlets and opposition groups.

Critics of Correa maintain that his actions threaten the freedom of expression.

The Ecuadorian president says he is not attacking press freedoms, but fighting powerful media moguls who have for years gone unregulated and are conspiring with business groups opposed to his socialist reforms in the Andean country.

Analysts, on the other hand, say Correa is following in the footsteps of the Venezuelan President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, who has refused to renew the license of one broadcaster and has threatened to shut down an anti-government station.

The Ecuadorian government operates the daily newspaper El Telegrafo (The Telegraph), ecuador TV, Radio Publica and the official website El Ciudadano (The Citizen).

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