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FIBGAR / Articles  / Reflections on the online seminar “Freedom of expression and information in the spotlight”

Reflections on the online seminar “Freedom of expression and information in the spotlight”

In the digital and global landscape in which we find ourselves today, freedom of expression and information face unprecedented challenges that require critical attention and thoughtful action. These issues were the central focus of our first online seminar “Freedom of expression and information in the spotlight” of the project “Voices – Civil society voices for a more sustainable democracy: dialogue between Europe and Latin America”. During the event, speakers Renzo Díaz Giunta and Dardo Gómez Ruiz, both participants in the VOCES project, explored the threats to freedom of thought, expression and press freedom in today’s societies, as well as strategies to protect journalists and combat disinformation.

One of the most salient points highlighted was the growing and threatening disinformation that looms over contemporary society. With the proliferation of digital spaces and social networks, the spread of unverified information or what is known as “fake news” threatens democracy and directly threatens the right to free thought, causing a media literacy that weakens the tools of citizens in the face of information manipulation.

Another of the central themes of the seminar was press censorship and the control of the media by the circles of power. Although the seminar recognized the need to safeguard the integrity of information and protect citizens from disinformation, it stressed the importance of maintaining a balance that does not seriously interfere with freedom of expression and freedom of the media. Censorship easily becomes an obstacle to diversity of opinion and can limit access to information that is crucial for citizens and the exercise of their freedoms and rights.

In this context, both speakers at the seminar raised the relevance of promoting transparency, impartiality and accountability of the media. Both speakers raised the possibility of self-regulation or co-regulation of the journalistic industry with a view to promoting quality standards that comply with journalistic ethics and strengthen public confidence

The speakers also warned about the vulnerability of those people, whether journalists or organizations, who uncover criminal acts due to the reprisals and legal persecution they suffer. This exercise of freedom can lead to intimidating lawsuits known as SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). These abusive legal actions seek to silence critical voices and pose serious threats to the integrity of these individuals. Confronting and addressing these tactics is essential to preserving a news space where truth is central and impunity is ended.

The seminar concluded with a call to action, urging society to actively participate in the defense of freedom of expression and information as fundamental pillars of resilient and resistant democracies. Emphasis was placed on shared responsibility in the construction of a more ethical and conscious information space, where freedom of voice is present and truth prevails over disinformation.

The seminar is available on our Youtube channel:

Contribution Renzo Díaz Giunta “Demcoracy under siege: The threats to the freedom of the press in Perú:

Contribution Dardo Gómez Ruiz “Guaranteeing the right to information for citizens is a challenge that cannot be postponed but has been delayed”:

Carmen Coleto Martínez, FIBGAR Junior Project Manager