Spanish version

Journalist calls for changes in media coverage

Famed war correspondent Jon Lee Anderson has participated in workshops all week.

Spanish version

Temas:

Jon Lee Anderson (left) and Eduardo Quirós, president elect of the Fórum de Periodistas por las Libertades de Expresión e Información. Jon Lee Anderson (left) and Eduardo Quirós, president elect of the Fórum de Periodistas por las Libertades de Expresión e Información.
Jon Lee Anderson (left) and Eduardo Quirós, president elect of the Fórum de Periodistas por las Libertades de Expresión e Información. Roberto Cisneros

US reporter Jon Lee Anderson, speaking at an event Thursday, said that political power, most of the time, sets the media agenda.

"They condition the public on a topic and accommodate the media agenda," he said. 

He was referring to the United States and the administration of Donald Trump, but the arguments could easily be extrapolated to different parts of the region.

"The leaders impose the agenda and almost always we continue as hamsters. We rarely get off the wheel," he said. 

He cited Ronald Reagan as an example when he warned that what happened in El Salvador in the 1980s would have serious consequences in the United States and in the world, and as a result justified indirect intervention. Political support would be the most appropriate term. 

Anderson explained that Trump writes in his social networks on an issue and the media, like an innocent fish, bite the hook and make it news. 

The American journalist presented a speech titled "Real journalism in the Trump era" at the University of Panama. There he was also presented the Gabriel García Márquez Award from the Foundation for New Ibero-American Journalism (FNPI) and whose representatives also participated in the event.

"Trump has not killed anyone yet, but his words kill. He has dedicated himself to destroying the public space," continued the reporter, who has covered armed conflicts in all continents and has performed countless interviews with individuals such as Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Augusto Pinochet and García Márquez himself. 

He also said that, as a result of that agenda imposed by Trump and other leaders, there is much news that is left untold. And that, precisely, should be the target of the media.

"The culture of 'I like' does not represent anyone," he said. 

Anderson also participated this week in a workshop on investigative journalism at the Casa del Soldado, organized by the Forum of Journalists for Freedom of Expression and Information and the Editorial Workshop Coalition.

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