Take physic, pomp

Press freedom in Bolivia

Hey, let’s play the “you be the judge!” game today. On the subject of press freedom in Bolivia, would you rather believe;

a) Opposition newspapers that support the ousting of a democratically elected and popular President?

b) Far right wing rabid pressure groups and sold-out bloggers based in Washington and picking up stipends from big biz for spreading lies?

c) The Inter American Press Association?

“Who they, Otto?”, I here you ask. Well the IAPA is the journalists’ association covering 1,300 publications and in the business of protecting free speech for its members and the wider press corps since 1943. This from the IAPA website gives more detail:

The Inter American Press Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending freedom of expression and of the press throughout the Americas. Its chief aims are to:

Defend press freedom wherever it is challenged in the Americas;
Protect the interests of the press in the Americas;
Advocate the dignity, rights and responsibilities of journalism;
Encourage high standards of professional and business conduct;
Foster the exchange of ideas and information that con-tribute to the professional and technical development of the press;
Foster a wider knowledge and greater interchange among the peoples of the Americas in support of the basic principles of a free society and individual liberty.
IAPA enjoys a membership in excess of 1,300,representing newspapers and magazines from Patagonia to Alaska, with a combined circulation of 43,353,762.

So there you go, now you know a lot more. Yesterday the president of the association, Enrique Santos (also a reporter at El Tiempo in Bogotá), was in Bolivia to meet with Dr. Morales and hold meetings on the subject he most cares about. Here’s what he had to say on press freedom in Bolivia:

“What we have been able to ascertain is that press freedom exists in Bolivia. For all that one hears and sees, nobody here can say that there isn’t an opposition press, that there is no criticism of the government. I think it’s important to make this clear.”

Any further questions?

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