The most recent edition of the Chapultepec Index of Freedom of Expression and the Press, from the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), recorded an improvement of 4.2 points on average in the 22 countries evaluated on the continent. The more positive overall picture comes with poor results from three of the largest countries in the region, Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, which lost the most points in the ranking.
In the absence of specific public policies to finance journalistic activities, small media outlets in Brazil make use of calls for grants for cultural projects to obtain resources. The country has a long tradition of publicly funding cultural activities, and journalists and experts advocate the same approach to journalism to tackle the news deserts and disinformation.
Contracorriente is a new digital outlet, founded in 2017, but already capable of making an impact in Honduras. And this was recognized by the 2021 Maria Moors Cabot Prize with a special mention from the jury. The two founders told LJR about the journalistic investigation, the behind-the-scenes of the creation and maintenance of Contracorriente, and about how they deal with sexism in journalism.
U.S.-based Brazilian photojournalist Adriana Zehbrauskas is internationally recognized for her sensitivity and empathy in covering people in vulnerable situations in the Americas. She is one of the winners of the 2021 Maria Moors Cabot Prize, the first edition awarded exclusively to women.
A study by the NGO Reporters without Borders (RSF) and the Technology and Society Institute of Rio (ITS-Rio) shows that social media has become a hostile territory for the press in Brazil. In a three-month period, between March 14 and June 13, 2021, the researchers identified 498,693 attacks on journalists and the press in general in Brazil. A fifth of the total attacks came from accounts with a high probability of automated behavior, i.e., robots.
Researchers looked at 80 news sites from 20 Latin American countries and identified three that stood out in making the audience an active part in making the news: digital natives GK (Ecuador), The Intercept (Brazil) and RED/ACCIÓN (Argentina ). According to the study, published in Brazil Journalism Research, the business model of the three outlets, based on direct revenue from the audience, creates more spaces for collaboration with the public.
New initiative brings together organizations of journalists and communicators to receive reports of threats, attacks and violations of press freedom in Brazil. Coordinated by the Vladimir Herzog Institute and by Article 19, the Network for the Protection of Journalists and Communicators has an online reporting tool and will offer training and protection courses to improve journalistic practice in the country.
Cuban independent journalist Yoel Acosta Gámez is one of the first to be fined under the new Decree-Law 35, which regulates telecommunications services on the island but, in practice, tightens control over the use of the internet and social media.
Innovative project of four Brazilian journalism outlets expands content distribution in the periphery and favelas while helping to increase revenue for newsrooms. Initially launched in São Paulo, the initiative installed 25 screens in commercial establishments with up to 800,000 visitors each month.
The mission of the Network of Journalists for Diversity in Communication is to increase the representation of Black journalists in Brazilian media. Formed in 2018, initially through a group on WhatsApp to share job opportunities among Black journalists, the network has evolved to establish partnerships with human resources companies and international organizations and now has more than 200 journalists.