Miami (April 10, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is getting ready to undertake an in-depth review of the state of press freedom in the Americas during its biannual meeting to be held in Cádiz, Spain, on April 20-23.
During the Midyear Meeting, which on this occasion will be held in the southern Spanish city of Cádiz to commemorate the bicentenary of the Spanish Constitution, 250 participants will focus on identifying problems, violations, and advances in freedom of the press in the Western Hemisphere over the past six months.
Among the main issues, delegates will discuss the violence unleashed against journalists and news media in Mexico, Honduras and Brazil, where three members of the press have been assassinated this year; the multimillion court-ordered fine imposed against executives of the newspaper El Universo in Ecuador; the lawsuit filed against the authors of the book “El Gran Hermano” (Big Brother) in that same country; and the later pardon issued by President Rafael Correa, who brought both suits.
In addition, there will be an analysis of the continuing censorship and financial sanctions imposed on Venezuelan media as well as of the regulation and imposition of limits on the import of newsprint, declared to be “of public interest” in Argentina.
As positive developments concerning crimes against journalists, the IAPA will highlight the Mexican Senate’s passage of a constitutional amendment to make crimes against freedom of expression federal offenses, and the Inter-American Human Rights Court’s ruling concerning the 1994 disappearance of Dominican Republic journalist Narciso González Flores.
On the legal front, the organization is concerned about legislative bills seeking to regulate the practice of journalism and the news media in Honduras, and the electoral law reform in Ecuador that would affect news coverage and the people’s right to be duly informed.
Within the framework of the four-day meeting, the IAPA has scheduled panel discussions on the new Latin American constitutions and their impact on press freedoms; on how the economic crisis has affected Spain’s media; and about the attacks on and the defense of the inter-American system. A series of seminars designed to explore how to increase the profitability of newspaper companies have also been planned.
For more information on the Cádiz meeting, go to the Web site http://www.sip-asambleas.org/home.php and link to the activities program.
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. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.