Regions: Latin America and the Caribbean

The media are essential to implementing the public information laws, enabling citizens to have a better knowledge of the current legislation, but they are also a tool for the exercise of journalistic activity in its role as watchdog of state institutions. Although Uruguay has an acceptable level of media development –considering its number of commercial, community and state radio stations and the number of existing newspapers- the same cannot be said about the diversity and plurality of the country’s media system as a whole. Among audiovisual media, private supply is thoroughly predominant...

In this age of information, the processes of production, circulation and consumption of information, are leaving the unidirectional broadcasting logic and are radically transformed by the development of a decentralized network. In this context of disintermediation, it is essential to understand and adapt to the possibilities that new technologies bring to not continue reproducing obsolete communication models. It is a priority, then, to highlight the most favorable aspects of the adoption of ICTs and encourage uses that contribute to strengthening the fulfillment of human rights, such as...

Media and broadcasting institutions in Bolivia (at least 15 with national reach) are concentrated in two conglomerates : private corporations and state-owned media. Though community media has increased in number, it hasn’t yet developed the capacity to create independent content. This means that although there appears to be a wide diversity of media, the content production is reduced to a small group of journalists. This scenario restricts the exercise of freedom of the press and threatens the public’s right to access quality information. This situation is aggravated by the fact that...

Colombia is a country that has had almost 60 years of internal armed conflict, as a result of inequalities, exclusion of broad strata of the population and weakness of the State. The country has been controlled by powerful groups (such as private corporations, national elites, wealthy families, etc.), which has resulted in widespread violence with many expressions and multiple stakeholders. This has negatively affected the economy and the country’s development, causing high rates of poverty and inequality. The nation spends heavily on security and defense, to the detriment of funding for...

Peru has about nine million indigenous citizens, who speak 43 different languages. However, there are high rates of extreme poverty among the indigenous population and they suffer constant violations of their fundamental rights. In this context, timely access to information is a means for these peoples’ progress and integrated development. Indigenous communication makes sense when practiced within the framework, world-view, language and culture of each native community, so the indigenous peoples themselves must produce, manage and disseminate information on their peoples in the media –...

The media panorama in Venezuela, as in the rest of Latin America, is facing major new challenges. The media reality in the Andean Region and in Latin America is in general similar. Most radio and television frequencies and the main newspapers are owned by a very few private companies. At the same time, Venezuela faces the challenge of taking responsibility for making the new information technologies (ICTs) available to all and to conveying knowledge properly to the most vulnerable, isolated population groups.

As community media arise, the problem that crops up is to train their...

In 2011 Guatemala descended 20 positions in the world classification of press freedom as developed by Reporters without Borders. In the period (2008-2011) a total of 8 journalists were reported assassinated, of whom none have had their case solved, with the number of violations against freedom of expression increasing to 179 cases of aggression.

Several reports point towards the fact, that many subjects such as organized crime, corruption, impunity and human rights violations are subjects that are not covered and present in the media. Journalists in Guatemala face violent attacks,...

A total of 24 journalists have been killed in Honduras in the past decade, 17 of them since the coup d’état. Murders of citizens who provided information to the media or defended human rights and media pluralism also go unpunished. In Honduras, women journalists and journalists who work to defend women’s human rights are particularly vulnerable and at risk. Women journalists receive vicious threats and direct attacks, as well as endure harder censorship because of wide-spread bias that women are more prone to cave in to intimidation.

In 2011, with the support of the United Nations...

Indigenous communities in Mexico have long since been excluded and relegated to poverty and marginalization, urgently requiring access to media platforms in order to freely express their voices and to participate in public decision making. Radio Huayacocotla La Voz de los Campesinos (Radio Huaya) has been able to contribute to the exercise of these rights, despite the adversities. Nahuatl, Tepehua and Otomi indigenous people and the Spanish-speaking peasants are the main actors who participate in the Radio. In rural and indigenous communities in Mexico there are a few women working in...

Organized crime and corruption are the principal sources of direct violence that have brought about the killing of more than a hundred journalists in the past decade, mainly in Mexico and Honduras, the forced exile of hundreds of journalists; and the shutdown of dozens of media outlets. News media self-censorship has become institutionalized as "common practice." Recklessness and negligence in news coverage is due to the lack of training in basic investigative techniques, inadequate compensation for journalists by their employers; and absence of solidarity and camaraderie among journalists...

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