Alerts about the fake news, the deaths of journalists in America this year, the validity of the legislation on freedom of expression, among others, were the points debated at the 74th IAPA Assembly, in the city of Salta (Argentina), where Ecuador highlighted the Government’s respect for the media.
Near 11 years ago Ecuador stayed away from the Inter-American Press Association (SIP). His participation was limited to complaints from media representatives against the previous government, which is reported to have not respected freedom of expression.
The picture is different now. From a controlling State there is a transition towards one that promulgates freedom with responsibility. This was stated by the Secretary of Communication, Andrés Michelena, in his speech last Friday, at the 74th Assembly of the SIP, in Salta (Argentina).
He was the one who carried the message of the president of the Republic, Lenin Moreno. On the day, which ended yesterday, he said that freedom of expression with responsibility and transparency are the best tools to fight corruption. He emphasized that in the previous government, harassment and persecution of the press were common practices, which became a trigger for social polarization for 10 years.
Now the Executive, he added, promotes the reforms to the Communication Law, which includes the elimination of the Superintendence of Information and Communication “that sanctioned and persecuted the media.” Another axis is the strengthening of the Council for the Regulation and Development of Information and Communication as a regulator, incorporating a representative of the academy.
In addition, it is intended to entrust the Ombudsman with the protection of citizens, in the event that the media violate their rights. “The reform proposal maintains the right to rectification, reply and response, because it is a right to receive accurate and contextualized contrasted information. And claim it, if not, but with respect and arguments, “he said.
Alerts During the assembly, which culminated, yesterday several topics were shown, among which they highlighted the need to educate the public about the fake news (false news on the Internet), the concern for the death of journalists in the region and that even the congresses legislate on freedom of expression, among other topics.
On Saturday, the American journalist Bob Woodward intervened. Through a videoconference he explained the situation in his country. He said that President Donald Trump does things “on the fly,” without a team behind him to give him support in the event of a serious crisis.
He considered that the political strategy of Donald Trump is to get the press to be the de facto opposition, so he asked the media to find new ways of thinking to avoid, for example, that when the US president Criticize journalists, let them get carried away by their emotions.
Concerns about deaths
The president of the SIP, Gustavo Mohme, warned that a total of 29 journalists have been murdered this year in America, of which 11 correspond to Mexico. According to the SIP, also six Americans, four Brazilians, three Ecuadorians, two Colombians, two Guatemalans and one Nicaraguan figure among the deceased.
In addition, a Haitian photojournalist is still missing, Mohme added. He took the opportunity to pay a minute’s silence for the death of Arab journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In another issue Édison Lanza, OAS rapporteur, argued that the legislative powers of America continue to regulate freedom of expression, when it must be absolute.
Luis de Uriarte, representative of Facebook Mexico, considered it necessary to educate readers so that they know how to identify fake news on the internet. Until the closing of this edition the papers of the participants in the assembly continued. (I)