The main responsibilities of a journalist should be to report reality as it is and to serve as a counterweight to power without being afraid to take a stand in the face of acts of authoritarianism, human rights violations and corruption, said the journalist in a conversation with the managing editor of El País, Borja Echevarría.
Journalists from Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela spoke in a panel during the webinar “Journalism in Times of Polarization and Disinformation in Latin America.” The panel explored press freedom in countries faced with increasingly authoritarian governments and how they’ve been able to continue doing journalism.
Upon accepting the 2021 Chapultepec Grand Prize, editor Marty Baron recognized not only his own objective of fighting for an independent press to ensure democracy, but the battles waged by his Latin American colleagues to do the same.
During the first panel of ISOJ online 2020, Filipino-American journalist Maria Ressa explained how technology is affecting the democracy not only in the Philippines but around the world. She talked about the complex disinformation networks targeting journalists and freedom of expression.
In Mexico, when a journalist asks the president a critical question during his press conferences, he is then attacked on social networks explained Mexican journalist Gabriela Warkentin of W Radio during the event “Media and Democracy in Times of Digital Cholera and Polarization in Latin America.”
Never in the history of Brazil have journalists and digital media been attacked the way they are being targeted now, said Leandro Demori, executive editor of investigative site The Intercept Brasil.
The editorial “O lugar de cada um” (The place of each one), published on Nov. 5 in the newspaper O Globo, is another development in the tense relationship between Bolsonaro and the press, fueled by the president's recurring attacks on critical journalism.
Cartoonist Pedro X. Molina talked about the current political crisis Nicaragua is experiencing and how critical media have become targets in the process. It was part of the event, “Media and Democracy in Times of Digital Cholera and Polarization in Latin America.”
Twenty years ago, journalists could not have imagined the present situation for media in Venezuela, according to Luz Mely Reyes, director and co-founder of digital site Efecto Cocuyo.
Nearly seventeen months after protests first broke out in Nicaragua, independent journalists in the country and international press advocates are repeating calls to protect media workers and freedom of expression.