Carlos Correa

Ashoka Fellow
,
Fellow Since 2008
Espacio Público

Citation

This profile was prepared when Carlos Jose Correa was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Through Espacio Público, Carlos is building cross-sector alliances both inside and outside Venezuela to connect journalistic practices with grassroots communities. Instead of advocating for the freedom of speech of a particular ideological group or other sector of society, Espacio Público urges all of Venezuelan society to see freedom of expression as a fundamental human right. Ultimately, Carlos aims to build a culture and practice of quality journalism, or communication that is both free and committed to social values, through his work with journalists, citizen groups, academics, and public authorities.

Carlos is taking advantage of the current political polarization in Venezuelan society to transform both ordinary citizens’ and journalists’ attitudes towards freedom of expression and access to information. Journalistic reporting often comes under state pressure or outright control and skims the surface of social, political, and economic reality in Venezuela. Without critical and independent media, there is neither government accountability nor a true understanding of social problems. At the same time, ordinary citizens are often indifferent to the current state of the media, further widening the gap between the media and civil society.

To propagate his work, Carlos has formed strategic alliances with networks of human rights organizations, citizen organizations (COs), and universities. Given his framing of freedom of expression as a human right rather than a political one, there is a natural affinity between Espacio Público and human rights groups. The alliances with COs and universities are critical to Espacio Público’s vision of a broad intersectoral appropriation of freedom of expression and access to information not only throughout Venezuela but elsewhere in South America.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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