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Montevideo, May 18th 2024 - 06:41 UTC

 

 

World Press Freedom Day: IAPA anything but optimistic

Wednesday, May 3rd 2023 - 10:17 UTC
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“It is impossible to sustain democracy without the proper freedom and protection that journalists and the media need...,” Greenspon said “It is impossible to sustain democracy without the proper freedom and protection that journalists and the media need...,” Greenspon said

Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) President Michael Greenspon was anything but optimistic in his World Press Freedom Day message after reports showed that, in the last semester, 10 journalists were murdered: 5 in Haiti and the others in Colombia, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, and Paraguay.

The “loss of democratic spaces” in the Americas and the “precarious situation of sustainability and viability” of the media in the region mark World Press Freedom Day to be celebrated on May 3, Greenspon said. “The balance is not very encouraging,” he added.

“Our country-by-country reports recorded hundreds of attacks against journalists due in many cases to the climate of general public insecurity, to the police's lack of skill during the coverage of public demonstrations, and also due to the advance of drug trafficking in countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico, and Paraguay,” he also pointed out.

In the last six months, he explained, 10 journalists were murdered. Five of them in Haiti and the others in Colombia, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, and Paraguay.

The IAPA president, who is also the global director of Print Licensing and Innovation at The New York Times, said that “simply covering the news has become a risky activity.”

In countries such as Venezuela and Cuba, “governments continued to block Internet sites of national and foreign media”. While “the Nicaraguan regime continued confiscating media” while El Salvador's digital newspaper El Faro had to transfer its offices to Costa Rica “to avoid government persecution.” In addition, some fifty journalists from Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua “were forced into exile”, he added.

According to Greenspon, women journalists were “victims of cyber-attacks and stigmatization in numerous countries”. At the same time, reporters from El Salvador and Mexico were victims of cyber espionage.

The IAPA president highlighted “the governmental opacity ... in almost all the countries of the region, including the most democratic ones such as Canada, the United States, Panama, and Puerto Rico, where governments violate the laws of access to public information.”

The executive highlighted “the precarious situation of sustainability and viability of the media” in the Americas, where, he said, “many have had to suspend their operations, with severe consequences for our democracies.

”It is impossible to sustain democracy without the proper freedom and protection that journalists and the media need to work. And without the economic health that the new digital ecosystem requires,” remarked the IAPA president.

May 3 was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day in 1993 by the UN General Assembly.

 

Tags: press freedom.

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