• Argentina's education ministry has kicked off a unique project called "When You Read, You Always Win'. Organised with the support of the Argentine Football Association, local football clubs, publishing houses and the print media, the initiative is designed to encourage people to read, and to curb violence in stadiums. As fans will now file into stadia, they will be handed free booklets containing short stories by prominent local authors. It is hoped that the booklets won't be used as confetti to celebrate or protest. Surely people respect their writers?

• At a forum on alternative media held in Caracas, Venezuela, in late October this year, President Hugo Chavez promised a large audience that the country would pump in us $3.1 million to revv up community media (tv, radio, print) in the next year. The funds will finance activities designed to make stronger Venezuela's network of community radio stations and newspapers.

What lends piquancy to the left-leaning president's generosity is the heated and polarised debate Venezuela's community media is in the midst of. The country's network of radio stations and newspapers are considered a stronghold of "Chavismo' by a broad political opposition. Also, most of the commercial media are fervently anti-Ch