Archivo de enero 24th, 2013

‘El País’ apologizes for Chávez photograph fiasco

Jueves, enero 24th, 2013

Spain’s El Pais was forced to apologize to readers after publishing a photograph of a man it claimed was Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, on its front page; the picture turned out to be a fake. The mishap shows just how far the media has gone to get the ‘scoop’, disregarding the importance of verifying sources.

Fidel Cano Correa, journalist and director of the Colombian newspaper, El Espectador, believes a mistake of this magnitude makes it necessary to reflect on journalism and the value of information as well as the civil responsibility that each publication entails.

“This situation is a good lesson for all reporters. It alerts us to all the caution we must have towards information. In this case, there was a lack of many obvious controls. Sometimes we are light in our confrontation,” Cano said.

“The excess of information makes it harder to verify,” Cano said, adding that readers are also constantly scrutinizing the information they receive and “errors are found in seconds.”

El Pais, Cano said, should have been more suspicious than usual of the photograph, but they “skipped many logical filters”. However, he believes the paper will emerge stronger. “El País will have an important reflection. Their brand is strong enough to recover prestige and strengthen the reporting team.”

Government admits there’s been progress, but process needs to speed up

Jueves, enero 24th, 2013

Another round of talks between Farc and the Colombian Government came to a close in Havana, Cuba. The parts agreed on the need to extend land access to farmers and develop proposals that will help them out of poverty. The Government will not, however, budge on the issue of a ceasefire and refused to suspend military operations.

The head of the Government’s negotiating team, Humberto de la Calle, stressed the need to speed up the process as agricultural development is only the first of six issues on the peace process’ agenda. De la Calle agreed that progress was indeed made but that there are still “notorious differences” that stand out.

Both parts agree that the country’s rural areas need to be transformed, he explained, “but if we don’t reclaim these vast regions where the armed conflict took roots for the country and its residents then we run the risk of it happening all over again.”

enero 2013
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