Report to the 75th General Assembly of the IAPA

October 4 – 7, 2019

Coral Gables, Florida

This period was affected by the October 27 national elections and the role of fake news distributors in affecting the process.

As a result, on July 22, the media announced the launch of Verificado.uy, a group made up of more than 70 media outlets, news agencies and entities such as the Interior Press Organization (OPI), the Uruguayan Press Association (APU), the Center for Archives and Access to Public Information (Cainfo), the Universidad de la República, the University of Montevideo, the Catholic University of Uruguay and the ORT University, with the purpose of combating fake news during the electoral campaign.

With funding from large international organizations such as Google News Lab, Facebook, First Draft and Fundación Avina, Verficado.uy organized an editorial staff of journalists who were trained to work in the tracking and verification of rumors on digital platforms and in the analysis of political discourses. The group took responsibility for writing the reports and the allied media for disseminating them. By the end of September, there were 16 case studies.

The government has insisted on the use of the radio and television network - with a changed name, but same political content. He calls them "official simultaneous broadcasts," and because of the Media Law, radio and television stations are forced to broadcast his "public good campaigns" free of charge for up to 15 minutes a day. It is done during mid-day hours, with a marked political-electoral profile - and has been used at times when political parties were forbidden to conduct electoral advertising. The law only allows it 30 days before the elections.

The electoral process generated a significant change in the Frente Amplio with respect to the regime of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Although the government has not modified its position as mere spectator in the face of totalitarian outbursts, candidate Daniel Martínez and other leaders have recognized that a dictatorship has been installed in Venezuela - which has earned him criticism from some of the parties that make up the Frente Amplio.

On August 13, the institutional page of the Presidency published a report to the Minister of Economy, Danilo Astori, describing as irresponsible the economic considerations of Luis Lacalle Pou - presidential candidate for the National Party. The government was questioned for the "institutional abuse" of using a state entity for electoral propaganda.