Andean region applies new system to monitor freedom of expression
The Andean Group for Freedom of Information (GALI) has started implementing a common methodology based on each country’s specific needs to monitor freedom of expression and press freedom in the Andean region. This work has been conducted within the framework of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) project, Strengthening Monitoring of Freedom of Expression in the Andean Region.
The results of the application of this new methodology were presented during a workshop organized in Ecuador on 25 and 26 July 2011 by the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE) of the University of Palermo (Argentina), in collaboration with UNESCO’s Office in Quito.
In November 2010 GALI members had designed a pilot methodology with CELE’s guidance, based on UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators, particularly Category 1. This new methodology is structured around four aspects:
- legal framework;
- governmental restrictions to freedom of expression (including mandatory dissemination of governmental content, sudden withdrawal of public advertising and arbitrary cancellation of radio and television licenses); and
- restrictions from media owners and other interests on freedom of expression (including arbitrary layoffs, cancelation of programmes for editorial reasons and information blackouts, among others).
The new system implemented by GALI members is already operational on their recently created website at www.elgali.org. Each member has access to the common database and can provide information according to the new methodology, either through alerts or information releases. The webpage offers press freedom information by country and, in the near future, it will also provide statistics and annual reports.
Within the context of this project, the Director of CELE, Eduardo Bertoni, was interviewed by several national newspapers and TV channels to discuss the situation of press freedom in the region (see press clippings).
- Fundamedios, Ecuador
- National Press Asociation (Asociación Nacional de la Prensa, ANP), Bolivia
- Press and Society Institute (Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, IPYS), Perú
- Press and Society Institute (Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, IPYS), Venezuela
- The Foundation for Press Freedom (Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa, FLIP), Colombia, is a recent member of GALI.