With the change of government, communicators perceive more openness to exercise their profession. They assert that there is no longer self-censorship in their work, but that there is still a way to go.
When the 226th anniversary of the first appearance of the newspaper Primicias de la Cultura of Quito, in the colonial era, whose guiding pen was that of Eugenio de Santa Cruz and Espejo, this 5th of January is commemorated the Day of Ecuadorian Journalism. The Ministry of Culture and Heritage, in its official website, indicates that it is enough to review the first issue, which rests in the Library of its headquarters in Quito, to understand that what was previously understood as written journalism differs a lot from the current conception. “Neither interviews, nor reports or chronicles.
There were no journalistic genres: the newspaper was made up of texts with a political pamphlet tone. However, comments from readers and some specialized segments, such as one dedicated to giving health instructions, were already incorporated “. Only seven issues were published due to funding problems and the withdrawal of subscribers.
However, this newspaper takes the recognition of being the first means of communication written in Ecuador. Today, three journalists talk about their profession and the difficulties they had to exercise it. Professionals believe that we must work on freedom of expression and access to sources, two lines in which, in his opinion, changes have occurred in recent months.
Francisco Rocha, executive director of the Ecuadorian Association of Newspaper Publishers (Aedep), believes that the Organic Law of Communication (LOC) should be repealed and in turn design a new one that truly guarantees freedom of expression and promotes communication. “To construct a (new) norm that divides the cultural subjects and that these are treated with their own law; while that of Communication is not a sanction but promotes the right of communication “, emphasizes Rocha. In contrast, the vice president of the Ecuadorian Association of Broadcasting (AER) in Guayas, Washington Delgado, believes that it should not be repealed, but rather reformed so that institutions such as the Superintendence of Communication (Supercom) do not have as many powers. “There are points that can be improved because in some cases it was a victim (the entity), but at the same time it judged and penalized.”
The president of the Federation of Journalists of Ecuador, Martín Villegas, adds that the reform must include the participation of communicators. “Journalists want to talk with President Moreno to provide ideas and reform certain articles so that they are much more effective,” said Villegas, who acknowledges that the law improved working conditions, but there is still much to be done.
Delgado, Rocha and Villegas agree that the Supercom must be replaced by a Communication Council composed of representatives of the academy, media and social collectives.
However, Delgado and Rocha believe that with the change of regime, state ministers are more open to grant interviews, as well as access to information in public entities. “It is noted that all public officials are freed of one peso to speak, there is a willingness to debate and ask questions; I see it that way, “says Delgado.
“The style of the President is different; journalism has not changed, but there is more space for research; at this time you can contrast more, “says Rocha. All are optimistic with the changes generated because they consider that there is no self-censorship due to the confidence transmitted from the Executive, which is not dedicated to criticizing the journalistic work of each media. Tonight guilds of journalists will decorate communicators in tribute to their work and career.
The first newspaper
On January 5, 1792 Eugenio
de Santa Cruz y Espejo published the first newspaper Primicias de la Cultura de Quito. Its content was aimed at exalting libertarian ideas during the colonial era.
The Gazette of the Court of Quito
Appears on August 10, 1809 with the aim of revealing the acts of the Sovereign Government Board, loyal to the King of Spain. But its publications disappeared in 1820 with the independence process.
On May 29, 1992
The then National Congress, on the occasion of commemorating the second centenary of the appearance of the first Ecuadorian newspaper, declared the aforementioned date as Ecuadorian Journalist’s Day.
In 2007, the then National Salary Council (Conades) authorized the 30% increase in journalists and social communicators. According to the Ministry of Labor, it was not adjusted to reality.
Entered into force on June 25, 2013. According to the Supercom, 1,081 cases have been processed, 675 resolved with sanctions, 266 have been filed, 108 acquitted and 32 are pending.
Sanctions to means
According to the Supercom, at national level 30 administrative sanctions have been issued against media that did not comply with the right to rectification, during the period 2013-2017. (I)