The Fourth Meeting of the Latin American Union of News Agencies (ULAN) opened with the participation of delegates from a dozen countries in the region, the head of the Secretary of Communication of Ecuador, Fernando Alvarado, and Secretary Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Ernesto Samper, who summoned the media in general to deliver accurate information without “propaganda” and “lobbying”.
In the first of two days of the meeting, held at the headquarters of Unasur in Quito, the discussion about whether there are limits to the exercise of freedom of expression was also raised and journalists shared experiences regarding recent news coverage in key episodes in the region.
Samper, who opened the event, expressed his rejection of reductionist stigmata on the information generated from emporiums regional communication and called truthful communication, but not with “propaganda” or “lobbying”.
He also referred to the “dangers” facing the media currently in the region:.. The “working with the public sector is not into propaganda can be made information without falling into propaganda and the media who are working with private sector is not to become spokesmen for the interests of the owners, ie not fall in lobbying “.
Samper said block integration is self-regulation, both public and private, which must establish the boundaries between what is a citizen or an informed public opinion and what a distorted information.
To a question from Andes agency about whether the truth is at risk in countries where there are progressive governments in the region, he said that “in many cases there is no information” and a citizen has a right to truthful and objective information that helps to make their decisions, and therefore “have the right at any citizen of any ideological system,” he said.
Samper found that meeting such as this are important since the alliance of agencies seek a broader objective and transparent information in a region where sometimes the media is driven by violent episodes and morbid information that makes an impact.
In the inauguration meeting, Fernando Alvarado, Secretary of Communication in Ecuador, emphasized the efforts of his country in this area to include in the Constitution the right to access to contextualized, verified, appropriate information without previous censorship.
Moreover, the Communication Law has been promoted in the country; it protects the practice of journalism. He announced that the contest to provide license for radio broadcasting in the search of democratization of communication will be opened soon. It must be distributed in equal parts to public, private and community media.
Alvarado welcomed the creation of Ansur, as part of integration in this area to face attacks of ongoing political processes in the region.
“Information is a powerful tool to face attacks we’ve been having in these countries,” he affirmed during his intervention.
On the other hand, Andrés Reliche, representative of the hosting Andes Agency, emphasized ULAN’s objective to “promote communication democratization in Latin America and the integration of peoples.” He announced that it is expected to deal with topics of cooperation among agencies.
The first debate of the meeting, in which delegates from different countries participated, focused on the question of whether or not there are limits for the exercise of freedom of speech. (Andes)