telesur: new voice from the south

Telesur building

Telesur headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela

In 2004, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez tasked me with the challenge of creating Telesur, a media platform that would project the voice of Latin America to the world. The idea was controversial, as it challenged the dominance of Western media outlets in the region. But Chávez, inspired by Simón Bolívar’s dream of South American unity and following the vision of the South Commission for a New World Order, recognized the transformative potential of media to achieve these goals and decided to take the risk of a regional broadcaster for the South.

Telesur was more than just a TV channel; it was a transformative project that opened the media landscape to new voices and helped to rebalance the information balance.

Breaking barriers

Mahatma Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they attack you, and then you win.” Telesur experienced something similar.

From the start, Telesur was ignored or ridiculed by traditional media outlets. However, the broadcaster continued to grow in quality and newsgathering capacity, gaining audiences as it achieved greater distribution.

Telesur’s unique coverage of the 2009 coup d’état in Honduras, which was the only one to offer an impartial perspective on the events, led major networks and agencies, such as CNN, to retransmit our live feed.

Driven by creativity and conviction, we overcame the challenges and made a voice for Latin America heard around the world.

Voice of the South

Making Telesur rise from nothing to become one of the most relevant media projects in Latin America was a challenge that I am proud to have successfully accomplished. Despite its current decline, Telesur played a vital role in democratizing the media landscape, giving voice to the voiceless, challenging the dominant narratives of global media corporations, and providing a platform for alternative perspectives.

You can see coverage (in Spanish) of the launch of the Telesur signal on July 24, 2005: