For the past 25 years, CEDICE Libertad (Centro de Divulgacion del Conocimiento Economico para la Libertad) has run a training program for journalists in Caracas, Venezuela. The 2012 winner of the prestigious Templeton Freedom Award, this program trains local journalists in free-market economics and introduces them to the principles of a free society.
“In Venezuela, communications schools don’t delve deeply into economics,” said Rocio Guijarro, the director of CEDICE. “For this reason, CEDICE decided it was essential for us to play a role. Hayek always talked about bringing these ideas to the people who can influence society.”
The program has trained over 1,800 journalists to date, with 20 participants per class each year. The lessons are taught by professors from CEDICE’s academic committee, and reference materials include books and articles from Hayek, Mises, Menger, Krause, and Buchanan. Classes are held early in the morning, in order to accommodate journalists’ work schedules.
“Journalists who focus on economics and policy need constant training in these topics, in order to present information clearly and responsibly,” said Ginnette Gonzalez of news sites Descifrado.com and Eluniversal.com in Venezuela. “CEDICE’s journalism program has helped me expand my knowledge of these topics and apply it to the articles I write.”
Not only does the training program help CEDICE bring classical liberal ideas to the public under a repressive regime, it also allows them to build key coalitions and to introduce individuals to the broader CEDICE community. Many former participants go on to support events and activities held by the organization.
As part of their journalism outreach efforts, CEDICE awards the Milton Friedman Prize for Economic Journalism every year. This award goes to the journalist who has contributed the most to the dissemination of the principles of freedom in Venezuela.