IAPA today launches ‘Lend Your Voice to the Voiceless’ song contest, using social networks to raise awareness of crimes against journalists
Miami (November 2, 2010)—“For the right to know I lend my voice to those who have no voice,” famed music producer Emilio Estefan declares in a video aired on social networks, thus joining efforts by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) in its battle against the impunity surrounding crimes against journalists in the Americas.
In the video Estefan calls on the public to take part in a novel music contest with the title “Lend Your Voice To the Voiceless,” in which all are invited to participate as a performer, lyricist or composer, posting their videos, songs or lyrics on the newly-created Web site www.impunidad.com/donatuvoz/esp/
Already to be seen and heard on this Web site are promotional music videos made by amateur artists from Brazil, Mexico, United States and Colombia that have already become popular on YouTube some hours before the launch.
The IAPA interactive campaign will place special emphasis in its six months of duration through such social networks as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube, among others, on seeking to create a contagious effect among many Internet users, encouraging them to join the anti-impunity cause. The winning entries will then be professionally recorded.
The IAPA has introduced the section titled “Rostros de la Impunidad” (The Faces of Impunity) on its newly redesigned Web site www.impunidad.com, where visitors can read stories of journalists who have been killed because of their denunciations of corruption, injustice, human rights violations, or the mere fact of expressing an opinion. The IAPA has turned several of these stories into documentaries that can be viewed on its YouTube channel – http://www.youtube.com/ProyectoImpunidad.
“We are very enthusiastic about this new initiative,” said IAPA President Alejandro Aguirre, editor of the Miami, Florida, Spanish-language newspaper Diario Las Américas, “with which the intent is not to lessen the seriousness of our battle against violence and the murder of journalists, but rather to heighten people’s feelings about defending freedom of expression, a right that belongs to all.”
Aguirre added, “We are very grateful to Emilio Estefan for having said ‘Count me in’ in this campaign in defense of the right to know.”
Aguirre added that “new technologies are today contributing to the quest in popular knowledge for the source of inspiration needed to extend our battles in the most intelligent and effective way.”
It was in 1995 that the IAPA launched its Impunity Project, in which battle is being waged on several fronts against violence unleashed against journalists, among these being constant monitoring, the call for legal and juridical reforms to bring about more action on the part of governments, publicity campaigns in member newspapers, and the training of reporters.
While crimes against journalists have not decreased in the Americas – 21 murders so far this year alone – in recent years there has been a notable increase in the prosecution and conviction of criminals, totaling 151 defendants, of whom 104 remain behind bars.
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. The IAPA Impunity Project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and has the mission of combating violence against journalists and lessening the impunity surrounding the majority of such crimes. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org; http://www.impunidad.com