Sixteen journalists from Brazil’s public communication company (EBC, by its Portuguese acronym) handed in written statements describing humiliating situations taking place in the company on a daily basis, since the arrival of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s president. Among them are workplace harassment, censorship, a climate of fear due to persecution at work, devaluation, and a lack of dialogue.
Since its inception, the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) has remained faithful to its founding principles: professional training, defense of freedom of expression, and the right to access public information. Abraji has not only become an organization of professional journalists with an important voice in the Brazilian media scene, but also a standard for associations in other countries.
To make women and LGBTQ+ people more present in coverage and in positions of power in the media, journalists need to have 'uncomfortable conversations' with colleagues, managers and themselves, Geo González (Mexico), Carolina Vila-Nova (Brazil), Daniel Villatoro (Guatemala), and Esteban Hernández (Colombia) said.
In Brazil, where 43.2% of the population identifies as white and 55.7% as Black, newsrooms are composed of 77% white employees. Research shows that a lack of diversity affects news production and journalists themselves.
Three months into his presidency, the controversial, embattled Rodrigo Chaves has given Costa Ricans an unsparing earful of his feelings toward the press. In that respect, even the leader of the ‘Switzerland of Central America’ is no exception to the Central American rule. At the same time, it’s ironic that Costa Rica remains a haven for journalists exiled from Daniel Ortega’s Nicaragua.
The Paraguayan Union of Journalists and press collectives are defending the rights of the country's women journalists and female media workers to report harassment in the newsroom and not be fired as a result, which has been the case recently.
In FLIP's analysis, the government of Iván Duque, which ends on August 7, maintained a strategy of friend-or-foe with the press. With those considered critical, distrust and secrecy prevailed. In addition, he used human and economic resources to prioritize institutional communication and impose his narrative. This contributed to an atmosphere of polarization and built a wall that affected access to information.
Mexico was one of the first countries to create a special prosecutor's office to investigate crimes against journalists. The Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) was created in 2010 in response to the increase in attacks, particularly murders, against journalists. Yet, from its inception to 2021, the FEADLE has only obtained 28 convictions.
Online harassment of journalists in Brazil has intensified in recent years due to the potential for exposure created by social media and the institutionalization of these attacks. President Jair Bolsonaro’s attacks against journalists have naturalized this type of violence in these online platforms, and those who should support these professionals are guilty of lack of accountability, reveals a study on violence against journalists on social media.
Statistical data shows that in the last three years, the most common response of the Guatemalan public prosecutor to cases of attacks against journalists was dismissal. Only 1 percent of the cases end up with a conviction. Under Attorney General María Consuelo Porras, the budget to investigate crimes against this profession was reduced by 77 percent.