Miami (October 2, 2020).- The murders against journalists, attacks against the media and restrictions on the free flow of information during the pandemic will be topics of the next General Assembly of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).
Due to Covid-19, the Annual General Assembly that had been scheduled for Madrid, Spain, will be held from October 21 to 23, virtually and free for all participants. In March, the IAPA held its half-year meeting online, after suspending planned face-to-face activity in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, due to the pandemic.
Prior to the assembly, on October 14, the IAPA will hold the ceremony of the awards for Excellence in Journalism and the Press Freedom Grand Prize granted to press workers who were victims of Covid-19. In addition, three panels on journalism and visual arts, investigative journalism and content quality are scheduled.
The inauguration of the assembly will be on October 21. The president of the IAPA, Christopher Barnes, will have as a guest of honor the president of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, who will sign the Declaration of Chapultepec as well as the Declaration of Salta on Principles of Freedom of Expression in the Digital Era. Cortizo has been invited to sign both documents using pencils containing the DNA of three journalists murdered in Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico, symbols of the "Immortal Pencils" campaign that the IAPA will launch to raise awareness about the impunity that surrounds the majority of crimes against journalists.
After the inauguration, panels on the major press freedom problems in the countries of the Americas are scheduled. IAPA will present the Chapultepec Grand Prize to Edison Lanza, special rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and reveal the results of the "Chapultepec Index", a ranking of countries on how press freedom is appreciated in 22 countries on the continent.
On October 22, there will be roundtables on the challenges of the media given a worsening of the crisis due to the pandemic and a special announcement from the IAPA to support the digital transformation of the member media. The assembly will also see former presidents Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica), José María Aznar (Spain), Tuto Quiroga (Bolivia) addressing the deviations from democracy during the pandemic.
On October 23, presentations on Artificial Intelligence applied in the media, and by senior executives from Facebook and Google; as well as a discussion between academics from various Latin American universities on the future of education for journalists and communicators are scheduled.
IAPA is a non-profit entity 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 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.