20 April 2023

IAPA Bot: Press suffers as democracy is devalued in the Americas

Haiti and Nicaragua in red, Cuba and the United States in orange, and in Costa Rica, police beat up a journalist.

Miami (April 21, 2023) The battered Haitian press is once again in mourning after the murder of journalist Dumesky Kersaint. Institutionalism in the Caribbean country is in a tailspin, and the press is suffering the consequences of an anarchic situation.

The inauguration of a "cultural center" in the building stolen from the newspaper La Prensa de Nicaragua set off the alarms of IAPA Bot, which dyed the country red. The newspaper press and offices of La Prensa were expropriated and militarily occupied in August 2021. Ortega appears to have consolidated his control over the newspaper's historic headquarters.

In El Salvador, the digital newspaper El Faro had to move its administrative headquarters to Costa Rica in the face of harassment by the government of Nayib Bukele, accused of authoritarianism. The decision was made after the authorities threatened the newspaper. Meanwhile, in Costa Rica, several press organizations condemned the beating of a photographer of the newspaper Extra by a policeman.

In the United States, a scandal in Oklahoma caused anger throughout the continent after audio was leaked in which police officers and officials were heard talking about killing journalists and "hanging blacks." As a result, the commissioner who made the statements resigned from his post.

In Cuba, the new Social Communication Law being prepared by the government threatens to continue suppressing independent journalism and increase citizens' oppression.

In Peru, it is estimated that every 60 days, Congress presents a bill limiting freedom of the press and expression. Since 2006, at least 94 proposals have threatened information freedoms.

This week, Dell Cameron, a reporter for Wired, was permanently suspended from Twitter for "violating the social network's rules" after interviewing the person who hacked conservative commentator Matt Walsh's account. Journalist Ben Collins posted: "Fun fact: this is the same rule used to block the distribution of the New York Post story on Hunter Biden, the biggest First Amendment violation in U.S. history." With 9,091 interactions, his account had the most influential tweet within the digital conversation.

IAPA Bot is an artificial intelligence tool of the Inter American Press Association that monitors press freedom violations in real time. It tracks information published in the media, Google News, Twitter, and from a selection of IAPA notes and denunciations. In addition, it contains a heat map that allows observing the press freedom climate in each country, a button to make complaints, and a menu that highlights the statements of government leaders, citizens' conversations, and relevant events.

IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications in the Western Hemisphere, based in Miami, Florida, United States.