Miami (October 5, 2012)—With the aim of reviewing how press freedom has fared in the Western Hemisphere in the last six months the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is to hold in São Paulo, Brazil, on October 12-16 its 68th General Assembly, invited to whose opening ceremony is Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff. The meeting’s program will also include panel discussions, workshops and seminars on topics of interest to the news industry.
With the participation of more than 450 editors, publishers and reporters from throughout the Americas the IAPA is preparing to hold major debates concerning press freedom during the General Assembly, one of the organization’s two membership meetings a year. Violence unleashed against the press and journalists, legislative actions that affect freedom of the press and access to public information will be some of the principal issues to be examined on the meeting’s agenda.
The meeting’s main activity will center on presentation of country-by-country press freedom reports on Sunday, October 14 and a look at how this fundamental right has fared. In addition, throughout the five-day meeting, whose venue will be São Paulo’s Renaissance Hotel, there will be internal meetings to evaluate the organization’s work and draw up plans of action.
The IAPA opens its event on Friday, October 12 with a series of panel discussions and seminars in which international speakers will focus, among other issues, on matters related to the news industry, attacks on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, organized crime and news coverage, press laws and the right to information.
Among the panelists and others invited to take part in the meeting are former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda, José Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights Watch, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. of The New York Times, and Alan García and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former presidents of Peru and Brazil, respectively.
President Rousseff and São Paulo State Governor Geraldo Alckmin, have been invited to conduct the General Assembly’s official opening ceremony on Monday, October 15. For the previous day is scheduled an event titled “Sunday in the IAPA,” aimed especially at journalists, professors and journalism students from Brazil and for which 400 local university students have already been registered.