Regions: Latin America and the Caribbean

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...

In the Dominican Republic freedom of expression, press freedom and other related media issues are protected by different laws. There are many traditional and new media outlets for such a small country (and a Small Island Development State) but ownership of media is highly concentrated within a few privileged politic and economic powerful groups. This limits the diversity of media content and confines the views and topics covered by media to private interests. In 2010, the former Dominican President, Leonel Fernández, formed a national commission that prepared 5 law projects to reform or...

The Curaçao media landscape can best be described as rich. It is rich in the sense that there is an overwhelming amount of media for such a small island. Two daily newspapers La Prensa and Amigoe are most popular. There is a government run television station TeleCuraçao which provides information and entertainment. Three radio stations Radio Hoyer, Easy FM and Dolfijn FM serves the island country with its coverage. Social media and citizens’ media are quite active and vibrant in the country and provide much needed boost in democratic participation of the citizens. However, there is an...

Jamaica has a vibrant radio media sector with twenty stations offering service, the majority being nationwide offering vast selections of music, phone in programmes and news. The sector is highly competitive, but driven by the dictates of the advertisers. The specific needs of communities driving development are only catered for by three radios, including Jet FM which serves rural Jamaica. Jeffrey Town Farmers Association, (JTFA) set up and launched Jet FM in 2008, and has been recognized as one of the best in Caribbean for its efforts at community development using media and recognized by...

The Caribbean has a varied level of media development, with Trinidad and Jamaica being the most sophisticated and Dominica and Guyana the least. This is a function of internal capacity and reflects in the local content production, quantitatively and qualitatively. The Caribbean TV landscape is almost totally dominated by imported U.S. Television, and there is also a clear and urgent need for production capacity building for both men and women producers in order to foster greater capability for the region to develop more in the area of freedom of expression.

Two of the main...

On May 16th 2012, Brazil saw its Freedom of Information Law come into force. The text, approved by the Brazilian Congress after intense advocacy by civil society (mainly Abraji and the Right of Access to Public Information Forum), is one of the most comprehensive of the world. It includes municipalities, states and federal government and involves Judiciary, Executive and Legislative aspects. According to the text, most information must be made public in the Internet in computer-friendly format. The text also details the few exceptions to the new general instruction of transparency. But in...

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...

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