New Report for Latin America and the Caribbean Freedom of expression and media development: Where are we heading?
Lima and Montevideo, 6 August, 2014. All over the world, old and new challenges appear among the media development´s stakeholders desks´ in relation to the key issues of the promotion and protection of freedom of expression ´s agenda. With the purpose of contributing to this discussion, UNESCO has recently launched Global Report “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development”.
Irina Bokova, Director- General of UNESCO, finds that "we need to act on the ground – to strengthen national legislative frameworks, to train journalists, to build capacity and advance media and information literacy.”
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the evolution of media freedom has been heterogeneous. Pluralism has been limited by the commercial sector´s hegemony with high levels of ownership concentration. While there has been progress in strengthening public media and community, media regulatory gaps and severe difficulties are occurring. There is still a lack of independent regulators, in a context that requires renovation and updating of regulatory frameworks. However, it should be stressed that the region has made great progress in the adoption of new laws on information access and with the expansion of the internet access.
Another striking feature is the increasing insecurity for journalists. In several countries, the violence related to drug trafficking, organized crime and corruption is creating a particularly hazardous environment for them. Such is the picture that the new regional chapter “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development: Regional overview of Latin America and the Caribbean" (available in Spanish) presents in detail, analyzes and calls for a discussion. It will be released by UNESCO tomorrow 7th August 2014 on the occasion of the XII Congress of the Latin American Association of Communication Researchers (ALAIC in spanish) that will be held at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú, San Miguel, Lima.
Eduardo Bertoni, researcher at the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information of the Universidad de Palermo (Argentina) finds this reports “arrives at a crucial time in Latin America”.
Meanwhile, Ricardo Corredor, Executive Director of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation (Colombia) for the new Ibero-American Journalism states that the work "has a diagnosis that offers many lights as well as important ideas and proposals for the debate Latin America will face regarding the directions the region will take after 2015 ".
Loyal to its mandate of promoting the free flow of ideas by word and image and maintaining increasing and diffuse knowledge, UNESCO will be part of the XII Congress of the Latin American Association of Communication Researchers where hundreds of researchers will present and share their findings on the status and progress of these issues.
The presentation of the regional chapter of Latin America and the Caribbean will be in charge of the Adviser for Communication and Information of UNESCO for MERCOSUR, Mr Guilherme Canela. Influenced by a gender equality perspective, the publication deeply covers the themes of freedom, pluralism, independence of media and expression, as well as the safety of journalists.
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