World Press Freedom Day 2007 in Brasilia

II Legislative Conference on Press Freedom

The UNESCO Brasilia office in cooperation with Brazilian Association of Newspapers (ANJ), Inter American Press Association and Brazilian House of Representatives has organised a second conference along the lines of last year’s event related to World Press Freedom Day. This conference focused on a diagnostic of press freedom in Latin America and on its prospects in the region. This is a particularly relevant topic in view of the recent political changes in the region where the action of the media has been confronted by the new incumbents and attacks to the media have been frequent.

The event was opened by the highest political authorities of Brazil, including the Vice-President of the Republic, the President of the House of Representatives (the third in the line of succession), the President of the Brazilian Senate and the President of the Brazilian Higher Court. The Representatives of UNESCO in Brazil, a high level representative of IAPA and the President of the Brazilian Association of News papers were also present at the opening table.

There were two panel sessions. In the first one – on a diagnostic of press freedom in Latin America – Mr. Humberto Castelló, Cuban journalist and Director of El Nuevo Herald (Miami) debated with the Brazilian journalist Ricardo Kotscho, former Press Secretary of the Brazilian Presidency of the Republic, and two Brazilian Representatives, Mr. José Genoíno (PT-SP) and Mr. Paulo Renato Souza (PSDB-SP). The panel was moderated by Brazilian journalist Fernando Rodrigues, Folha de São Paulo newspaper. The second panel, on the prospects of press freedom in Latin America, put together the opinions of Mr. Elides Rojas, Venezuelan journalist, Editor of El Universal (Caracas); Colombian journalist Mr. Alvaro Sierra, Editor of El Tiempo (Bogotá), and Brazilian Representatives Mr. Fernando Gabeira (PV-RJ) and Mr. Ibsen Pinheiro (PMDB-RS). This panel was moderated by the Brazilian journalist Ms. Ana Dubeux, Editor in Chief of Correio Braziliense (Brasília). The event was transmitted live by TV Câmara.

Other partners included: The Brazilian Association of Magazine Editors (ANER), Brazilian Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters (ABERT), The Reference Center on Freedom of Expression of the Brazilian Council of Self-Regulation and the High School of Advertising and Marketing (CONAR) and The Outdoor Central.

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