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Ecuador newspaper fined for not running corrections

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Ecuador's largest circulating daily newspaper has been fined for not running corrections demanded by an official media regulator.

Extra, a tabloid with a daily circulation of 150,000, was ordered to pay the equivalent of 10 percent of its revenues over the next three months by the Superintendency of Information and Communication on Tuesday.

Known by the acronym Supercom, the controversial office was created last year at the initiative of President Rafael Correa, a socialist who has been in open conflict with the privately owned media, bridling at criticism of his government while accusing the press of treating "news as merchandise."

The corrections demanded by Supercom involve headlines and content of two stories, one about the detention of a man who had been sentenced for drug possession and another about a deadly traffic accident.

The newspaper's editor, Juan Yepez, said he was "surprised" by the fine, because corrections had already been made in one case and in the other the newspaper had asked the watchdog to explain what needed correcting.

The regulator said the newspaper had not made the corrections in the time required.

The tabloid has previously been criticized by government supporters for publishing photographs of semi-nude women.

But it found itself at the center of a media rights storm earlier this year when Supercom forced it to run a correction on a caption of an editorial cartoon that Correa's government had criticized.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140326/ecuador-newspaper-fined-not-running-corrections