Eleven public access ones operated. So did 36 private television broadcasters and eight public ones.
Chavez encouraged free and open communication. Operations expanded. By April 2012, radio stations included 499 private ones, 83 public access operators, and 247 community ones.
Sixty-seven commercial television broadcasters operate freely. So do 13 public service and 38 community ones.
Five media giants dominate Venezuelan television. They assailed Chavez throughout his tenure. They materially aided and abetted the aborted two-day April 2002 coup. Globovision's one of the worst. More on that below.
In 2000, National Assembly legislators reformed Venezuela's Organic Telecommunications Law. It affirms communication access. It does so as a human right.
It established three types of media. They include private, state and community.
In 2004, lawmakers passed the Social Responsibility in Television and Radio Law (Ley Resorte). It prohibits inciting hatred, intolerance, racism, criminal activity, public disorder, discrediting elected officials, and disrepecting laws.
In 2010, it did so for Internet communications.
Venezuelan media operate freely. Chavez tolerated no less. Western media scoundrels claimed otherwise. They still do. They misreport saying so.
They spurn professional standards. They violate journalistic ethics. The Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics says:
"....public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy."
"The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues."
"Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty."
"Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility."
The Radio-Television News Directors Association Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct stresses public trust, credibility, accuracy, truth, "reporting anything known to be false," avoiding bias, fairness, integrity, independence, accountability, and "responsibility to the profession of electronic journalism."