In this audio interview, CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen and Venezuelan journalist Javier Bastardo talk about cryptocurrency and the media industry.
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Caracas-based bitcoiner and journalist Javier Bastardo has covered the crypto scene in Latin America since 2017. In that time he’s been living partially off bitcoin, thanks to BTCPay server and a variety of employers that pay in crypto, like CoinTelegraph Espanol.
“Even when I’m trying to report in an unbiased way, I’m really bullish on crypto,” Bastardo said. “Bitcoin could be useful to other Venezuelans.”
Beyond holding it as savings, many Venezuelans use cryptocurrency as the fastest way to obtain dollars. Bastardo said there is more in common between crypto readers across the Americas, both Latin America and North America, than similarities within local geographies.
“We’re talking to a very specific audience, even if I’m writing in Spanish and you’re writing in English,” Bastardo said, referring to CoinDesk writers in New York and California. “We are more connected than I would be with a person who writes about politics in Venezuela…The way they [crypto audiences] look for information is very particular to the types of viewers that we have.”
When it comes to the media, in Venezuela it is more clear to readers that journalists can be activists and that corporate media is often government propaganda. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least five journalists were murdered for doing their jobs in Venezuela over the past few decades. In this context, censorship isn’t merely about ad policies or social…