JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS

A News Blog

Leiderman Ortiz, editor of the newspaper La Verdad de Pueblo, was unharmed but is fearful for his life after the grenade damaged the front of his home in Caucasia, Antioquia, El Tiempo and El Mundo report. read more »

The fifth annual freedom of expression award from the Casa América Catalunya honors the work of Diario Co Latino for its defense of freedom of expression and its struggle to solve crimes committed during El Salvador's civil war, EFE reports. read more »

An appeals court ruled that blogger Dania García would have to pay a $14 fine instead of serving a 20-month prison term for a family dispute, The Associated Press reports. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Dissident journalist Guillermo Fariñas completes 80 days on hunger strike (Spanish) (Milenio)

The offices of Televisa’s Canal 2 in Tepic, Nayarit (on Mexico’s central Pacific coast) were attacked with AK-47s and grenades, La Jornada reports. The facilities suffered damage, but neither of the two people in the offices were wounded, Europa Press adds. read more »

As part of an offensive against the black market for dollars, President Hugo Chávez urged supporters to use Twitter to blow the whistle on currency speculators and warned that illegal trading sites could be shut down the Associated Press reports. read more »

President Sebastián Piñera agreed to sell his TV channel Chilevisión to local private equity investors Linzor Capital for $130 million, Dow Jones reports, citing Chilean news reports. (See Spanish version of this post.) read more »

The Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Catalina Botero, says that Latin America still faces major challenges to freedom of expression, despite advancements on political fronts. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Journalism at risk (opinion–Spanish) (Proceso)

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) invites community radio journalists and citizen reporters from Latin America and Spanish-language radio reporters in the United States to apply for two online training courses about digital media tools, IJNet reports. read more »

Violence has made the border city of Ciudad Juárez one of the world's most dangerous cities and one of the riskiest places to practice journalism. The situation is such that several insurance companies will not sell life insurance to media workers, while others have added new surcharges to policies issued in the city, El Diario reports. read more »

Dania García left the prison where she had been incarcerated for two weeks after being sentenced to 20 months for a “family dispute," the Associated Press and EFE report. This was the first case of a blogger being arrested on the island. read more »

Human rights experts from the United Nations urged the government to take urgent measures to protect journalists in Honduras, where seven media workers have been assassinated since March 1, the AFP and EFE news agencies report. read more »

Beto Ortiz, a well-known local media figure, was dismissed from Frecuencia Latina (Channel 2) for “editorial differences,” and his column in Perú21 has been discontinued. In an interview with Dedomedio magazine, the journalist claims that his departure from both media is a way to censor him for his "impertinence" in reporting irregularities in the transfer of ownership of América TV (Channel 4) to the media groups of El Comercio and La República during the administration of President Alejandro Toledo. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Ortiz's dismissal is a form of censorship, Peruvian Press Council says (CPN Radio)

The Pentagon has barred four reporters—three from Canada and one from the United States—from covering proceedings at a military tribunal in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, because they published the name of a U.S. army interrogator who testified at a hearing, the Canwest News Service and the Associated Press report. read more »

Keeping with recent trends, the federal government increased its spending on advertising from $100 million in 2008 to $210 million in 2009, a pivotal election year for the ruling party, La Nación reports.

The government's decision to publish the figures came after a month of refusing to heed requests for the information, prompting an NGO to seek a court order based on public information access rules. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Argentina’s Kirchners and the news media: offering carrots and sticks (June 2009) (Knight Center)
» Argentina press study relates coverage with government ads (Nov. 2009) (Knight Center)

Police authorities say they'll investigate charges that members of an anti-riot squad in Cali (western Colombia), beat reporters and photographers who were covering a Labor Day protest, RCN radio reports. read more »

Óscar Rubio Cárdenas, 75, was killed in his apartment in Bogotá, apparently by two people who attempted to rob him, EFE reports. read more »

Public Security Minister Óscar Alvarez rejected the claims made by Amnesty International and other non-governmental organizations that point to the existence of an organized group that seeks to silence the Honduran press, Spain's El Mundo reports, with information from news agencies. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Pressure mounts on Honduras as journalist death toll rises (Inter Press Service)

Journalist Érika Ramírez and photographer David Cilia, both of Contralínea magazine, were rescued late Thursday, the Committee to Protect Journalists reports. Cilia suffered two gunshot wounds to the leg. read more »

The International Press Institute (IPI) named Lydia Cacho as an IPI “World Press Freedom Hero," to recognize her contributions to press freedom and investigative journalism in the defense of human rights. read more »

Filmmaker Elena Varela, who has documented the lives of indigenous Mapuches for much of her career, was acquitted by three judges who found insufficient evidence to convict her of participating in two violent assaults, La Nación reports. read more »