Speech of Michael Greenspon, IAPA President, Eleventh Meeting of CLAEP


Signature of the declarations of Chapultepec and Salta, Autonomous University of the West, Cali, Colombia


Michael Greenspon, IAPA President

Eleventh Meeting of CLAEP

Signature of the declarations of Chapultepec and Salta

Yquinde Auditorium, Autonomous University of the West, Cali, Colombia

May 8, 2023

Good Morning. It is an honor for me and for the Inter American Press Association to attend this Eleventh Meeting of the Latin American Council for Accreditation of Journalism and Communication Education (CLAEP).

I appreciate the invitation of the Director Luis Pérez, the dean of the Faculty of Communication, Catalina Jiménez, and the executive director of CLAEP, Juan David Bernal. I especially want to greet my colleague and predecessor, María Elvira Domínguez, president of the IAPA between 2018 and 2019.

It is a pleasure to be back in Colombia. We have held 6 assemblies in your beautiful country. However, before 2015, the IAPA sent more than 30 missions to Colombia to investigate on-site violations of press freedom including attacks on media and the murder of journalists. Luckily, we no longer come as before because the severe problems of freedom of the press have been mostly overcome.

So today, the context is different. We are motivated to come to Colombia to promote press freedom, not to defend it. In particular, so that the students of this university can sign the declarations of Chapultepec and Salta, committing their future professional lives to protecting and promoting those values.

The defense of press freedom is an intrinsic task that no journalist can neglect. It is incumbent on us, the media, to defend these freedoms, which are so fundamental to democracy.

I emphasize this in the hope that the other CLAEP schools of journalism will also embrace this objective. It is a dream that the IAPA embraced in 1995 when, among journalists and editors, we met to begin the process that gave life to CLAEP, an organization that, among many of its attributes, synchronizes the teaching of Journalism with the demands of the new labor market.

I am encouraged to propose that with Juan David Bernal and Ricardo Trotti, we explore more joint actions between CLAEP and the IAPA. Beyond the successful diploma course for journalists, I think it is time to materialize the IAPA's dream of having a Chapultepec-Salta virtual Chair on freedom of the press and expression.

Let's use the new communication technologies and the knowledge accumulated between the CLAEP academy and the IAPA professionals. Then, we can create a chair on press freedom that is robust and necessary for the training of future generations.

After more than 80 years of experience at the IAPA, we believe that independent, free, reliable, and innovative Journalism is a fundamental necessity for democracies. And we also believe these values must be instilled and embraced from the beginning, hence the core value of CLAEP.

For this reason, I applaud the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente, for inviting its students to sign these declarations.

The declarations of Chapultepec and Salta has been signed by presidents, members of Congress, judges, academics, and personalities from the Americas. However, nothing gives us so much hope for a better future than their being embraced by students and future journalists.

Thank you.