Miami, Florida – Radio and TV Martí were the first to break the news in Cuba that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had died. The Martís went live on March 5 with special programing broadcast simultaneously on the airwaves and the Internet, and featured reporters in Caracas, Havana and Miami. Radio Martí’s experts offered in-depth analysis on Chavez’s life, his battle with cancer, treatments in Cuba, and how his illness was handled by the Venezuelan government.
“We spoke with economists inside Cuba about the economic repercussions of Chavez’s death on Venezuela and on Cuba,” observed veteran journalist and Martís news director Humberto Castello. “The disappearance of the leader of ‘Chavismo’ is of great import to our audience on the island that has been so long under his patronage.”
The Martís’ breaking multimedia news, including a live online stream of coverage, brought intense interest to Martinoticias.com. In the 24 hours following Chavez’s death, visits to the site jumped up by nearly 100 percent.
Other special programming included TV Martí’s Antena Live broadcast developing details from Venezuela as well as interviews and reaction from the Venezuelan diaspora in Doral, Florida. Martinoticias.com’s “1800 online” served as a forum for University students in Caracas who talked openly about how the news and information was being handled on social media in their country.