The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) condemns in the strongest possible terms the attacks on the press by the President of Chile, Gabriel Boric. The latest came on Wednesday at the Annual Industry 2023 Meeting, organised by the Sociedad de Fomento Fabril (Sofofa) when President Boric questioned the work of certain newspapers.
“When I read the headlines in the newspapers (…). In truth, I read a few newspapers at this point. But the eagerness to prefer bad (news) is impressive. I don’t know how those who continue to read El Mercurio, La Tercera, La Segunda, are left with their hearts afterwards because, in truth, it’s as if we were living in a hellish country. And that’s not where we are,” Boric said.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises freedom of expression as a fundamental right. “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.
Undoubtedly, statements such as those made by the President of Chile contravene this right and threaten freedom of the press – the foundation of any democracy – and the social work and control of the media. This is a severe matter that we at the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers wish to denounce and urge the eradication of such threats by certain politicians.
Fernando de Yarza, WAN-IFRA President, recalled that “journalism is one of the fundamental pillars of any democracy, and reprehensible behaviour such as that of Boric violates the fundamental rights of citizens”. He warned: “We will continue to ensure that anti-democratic practices do not silence the fundamental work of journalists and attempt to manipulate public opinion to impose a single message by populist politicians – such as Boric, Trump or Maduro – who have proven to be the ultimate enemies of press freedom, of journalism exercised nobly and ethically, and of democracy.”
About WAN-IFRA. The World Association of News Publishers is the global organisation of the world’s press. Its mission is to protect the rights of journalists and publishers around the world to operate independent media. We provide our members with expertise and services to innovate and prosper in a digital world and perform their crucial role in society. It derives its authority from its global network of 3,000 news publishing companies and technology entrepreneurs, and its legitimacy from its 60 member publisher associations representing 18,000 publications in 120 countries. See more at: wan-ifra.org.
WAN-IFRA’s primary mission is to defend press freedom and promote sustainable, financially viable media. Three strategic aims guide our Media Freedom work: Advocacy, Media Development, and Media Sustainability. The Media Freedom division supports sustainable independent media in emerging and transitional markets, leveraging expertise, knowledge, and networks from within the industry while advocating for the fundamental rights and freedoms that underpin a free and independent press. Read more.