Governments limited access to information and circulation of journalists during the pandemic

The media and journalists carry out essential activities in emergency situations.

Miami (November 6, 2020).- Most of the governments of the Americas limited access to public information and imposed restrictions on the mobility of the media and journalists, hindering journalistic coverage through states of emergency imposed in the context of the pandemic.

In contrast to these decisions, the IAPA stressed that "the media and journalists carry out essential activities, in consideration of the fact that the free flow of information and freedom of the press are fundamental principles that nourish the human right to access information," according to a resolution passed during its general assembly in late October.

Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela are some of the countries in which the freedom of movement of journalists was restricted. Also affected were the distribution and sale of newspapers.

In Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Grenada, Peru and Puerto Rico, authorities have used the pandemic as an excuse to limit access to information. Meanwhile, disinformation, lack of transparency and censorship increased in this period in Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela.

IAPA is a non-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 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.