San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

New rector fires Semanario Universidad director

Henning Jensen, rector of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), on Monday told the daily La Nación he will replace Laura Martínez as director of the university’s weekly newspaper, Semanario Universidad. The change will happen in December, because Jensen said he considers the position to be a “temporary” one.

Jensen, who assumed his post last May 18, said he “appreciates Martínez’s work at the helm of the publication,” but he thinks there is “a chance to improve,” La Nación reported. He also said there will be changes in other UCR departments, which he will announce in coming days.

The rector said he is already in negotiations with a “recognized national journalist” to replace Maríinez, but declined to disclose that journalist’s name.

Martínez said the announcement took her by surprise, and 85 percent of her staff signed a letter supporting her work. “I happened to take charge of the paper when it was in the middle of a crisis. We have increased circulation and advertising, and we managed to put together an investigative reporting team. We have been winning awards and national recognition,” she said of her work at the paper.

She also said her staff now fears the paper would abandon its current editorial line, which includes critical coverage of national issues. Jensen said the paper will maintain editorial independence, and will not become a newspaper “to cover cultural issues only.”

Martínez, 45, assumed her post in 2006 and previously worked for TV channels 7 and 13, the daily La República and Interpress News Service. She has won the National Journalism Award four times, and has degrees in journalism and human rights.

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