The IAPA in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

Resolution presented to the IAPA Mid-year Meeting 2020

WHEREAS in Aruba,Chile, El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago the governments, on declaring states of exception in order to combat the spread of the pandemic, have imposed restrictions on the mobilization of journalists in their daily work, contradicting constitutional principles on press freedom

WHEREAS in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela the governments use the excuse of the states of exception to impose greater restrictions on independent news media and journalists, and the Nicolás Maduro regime has detained two journalists for reporting on the coronavirus

WHEREAS the president, Christopher Barnes, urged the news media members of the institution to assume the role of providers of essential services in this global emergency and to redouble efforts on news rigor with a balanced journalism to guide and generate confidence among their audiences

WHEREAS the members should give support to the health authorities for the transmission of relevant messages and at the same time implement and observe the health protocols for the safety of their employees

WHEREAS in the face of the present world public health emergency this institution postponed it its Midyear Meeting in Saltillo, Mexico, to late next March, in order not to subject to risks the members of the organization and people in the host nation

WHEREAS "a free press is a fundamental condition for societies to resolve their conflicts, promote wellbeing and protect their freedom" and "the credibility of the press is linked to commitment to the truth, the search for precision, impartiality and equality," as is established by the Declaration of Chapultepec

The IAPA resolves

to remind the governments that the press has a special role in democracy to sustain the public's right to information and that there should not exist restrictions to its work, as state the constitutions and numerous international treaties on press freedom

to reject all arbitrary action of authoritarian governments that do not allow the media and journalists to carry out their work at this exceptional time

to urge the media members to continue with their valuable informational task and establish agreements of collaborative journalism with other media, with the aim that relevant information flow in a generous manner in all the corners of the communities.