(posted March 11, 6:40 p.m.)- Critical journalism in Latin America is under attack by intolerant governments that are pressuring private businesses to remove advertising from independent media outlets, according to the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).
In a report released this afternoon following the free-press group’s midyear meeting in Mexico, IAPA criticized certain governments—including Nicaragua—of using official advertising as “a method of discrimination against non-conforming media.”
Nicaragua was mentioned specifically—along with seven other countries—for creating an “immense state and private propaganda machine created for the sole purpose of defaming and attacking journalists, those responsible for the media, business people, and politicians that do not share the official line of thought.”
The official media machine has a similar modus operandi in different countries, IAPA notes. “Official discourses are reproduced in an identical manner: they accuse the press media of destabilizing and creating opposition due to their merely doing their work, which consists of informing and expressing opinion.”
IAPA challenges private companies that “fold before the blackmail of government” to “exhibit worthy behavior in accordance with the value of democracy and freedom of expression.”
“History has demonstrated in these cases that all gain is momentary and short-lasting,” IAPA said.
IAPA calls on Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama to “practice the most basic standards of a republican democracy—freedom of expression, division of powers, independence of justice, individual citizen guarantees, and alternation of the party in power.”