Villacís also cited a proposed communications law, now under discussion in the national assembly, which would give the government more control over the media. The proposed law would create a communications council appointed by the president and other institutions, the majority of which are under the president’s influence. The council would be authorized to impose sanctions on journalists who violate the stipulations of the 45-page law. Even though a draft posted on Ecuador’s national assembly website includes a line that reads, “this law does not regulate information or opinion that circulates on social networks,” it remains to be seen whether the government will adhere to that. After all, Donoso compared Correa’s use of Ecuadorean law against the media to an octopus. “It will try to stretch itself all over the place.”

But as Internet access expands in Ecuador, perhaps social media will remain one small opportunity for the country’s journalists to make their voices heard. “Don’t forget, in difficult times, journalists discover ways for society to express itself somehow,” said Villacís.

He wrote that on Skype.

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Emily Judem will graduate this spring from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.