MEXICO CITY – Mexico, where attacks on the press are an ongoing phenomenon, in October will host the 72nd Annual Assembly of the Inter American Press Association with the aim of joining forces against the scourge, the chairman of the association’s Committee Against Impunity, Juan Francisco Ealy Ortiz, said on Tuesday.
“People are coming (to the conference) with a lot of hopes and really wanting to add to the efforts because although freedom of the press is practiced, it is not welcomed. And it must be fully applied,” Ealy Ortiz, who is also the president of Mexican daily El Universal, which is hosting the assembly, told EFE.
He noted that “Mexico is experiencing a very difficult situation for journalism” in that “many journalism colleagues have been persecuted and murdered by organized crime.”
That is why the organization selected Mexico as the site of its annual meeting of executives representing Latin America’s major media outlets.
He also said that it is currently necessary “to maintain the circulation, penetration and influence of the newspapers.”
“The electronic media is gone with the wind and the print press remains for the ages,” and so “a well or badly written story remains in print and nobody can get rid of it,” Ealy Ortiz said.
He added that “the print press will never disappear, it will remain, it’s not going to grow,” but he acknowledged that it has to “complement” the social networks and the Internet.
In April, during an event at the Dominican resort of Punta Cana, the chairman of the association’s Freedom of Expression Committee, Claudio Paolillo, said that organized crime and political corruption are the main enemies of press freedom in Latin America.
In a report, Paolillo noted that over the past six months 12 journalists have been murdered in the region.