Satire as a radical practice of freedom of expression. The case of the “puppeteers” on TVE news and in ABC texts

María Eugenia Gutiérrez Jiménez


The main objective of this paper is to analyse the coverage that TVE-1 news programmes gave to the case of the “puppeteers”, since being remanded in custody on 6 February until their release four days later on the 10th, under the provisions of Act 17/2006 pertaining to fulfilling its public service remit. Besides this, the news coverage on TVE-1 is compared with news items published in ABC on 6 and 11 of February, in order to assess whether there were any differences. The case of the puppeteers is a relevant indicator of the limits imposed on freedom of thought and expression versus the defence of public order in Spain, since the use of satire was linked to the glorification of terrorism and incitement to hatred (Arts. 578 and 510 of the Spanish Criminal Code). Thus, the intention is to assess whether the practically inappreciable differences in the news coverage between Spanish public television and a private media company made the former an accomplice to the partisan struggle to reflect reality in a context of political and institutional crisis.


satire, case of the puppeteers, TVE, public service, freedom of expression, ABC, terrorism, anarchism

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