The President of the Republic was one of the speakers at the opening of the UNESCO conference for Press Freedom Day, in Punta del Este, where he considered that we are facing “a change of era” marked by new communication technologies. information and communication.
Luis Lacalle Pou led the opening of the event on the afternoon of this Monday 2 at the Punta del Este Convention Center, in Maldonado.
He was one of the main speakers, together with the director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), Audrey Azoulay, with whom he had a previous meeting. The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, and the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, also sent a recorded message.
Under the slogan “Journalism under digital siege”, the Global Conference for World Press Freedom Day 2022, organized by UNESCO, runs until Thursday, May 5. The instance was also attended by the Secretary of the Presidency, Álvaro Delgado; the assistant secretary, Rodrigo Ferrés; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Francisco Bustillo; of Tourism, Tabaré Viera; of National Defense, Javier García, and the mayor of Maldonado, José Luis Rapetti,
“Uruguay was the venue for many events, because we always knew there was a day later,” said Lacalle Pou in his speech, referring to how the country faced the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In reference to the theme of the conference, he considered: “We are experiencing a very stimulating and attractive change of era, in what has become a horizontal form of communication between citizens and rulers, and that challenges us.”
“Added to the fact that before there were few senders of messages and receivers of messages who had enough culture to receive. We are all senders and receivers, ”she reflected.
The president added that “many times there is no preparation to deal with information,” and that is what professional journalists are for.
“That is why, in this change of era of micropower, with a cell phone, we have to give certainty to the journalist’s profession, which does not only speak of freedom of opinion, but also of work,” he assured.
And he added: “I am a faithful believer that the local media are extremely important (…) In these times of globalization, the possibility of having information about your payment, about your people, is very important and that is vital for the exercise of rights. democratic rights”.
Regarding the immediacy of the news, he said that the ethics of the profession is increasingly important “and in between these tensions are the rulers.” “And the first determination of a ruler has to be not to regulate (the media), not to advance regulations, because the task carried out by journalists is a fundamental pillar for democracy.”
“The ability to educate citizens on how, what and to what extent to get involved in certain news is essential, because the other thing is to cover the sun with a finger,” he said.
For this reason, he described these forums as very important, because they help everyone understand the new reality, he said.
He also talked about fake news (known as fake news) or rumors, which, as he recalled, always existed and sold more. “Fake news was developing much more slowly than it is today and there is a large part of the population that is willing to believe that it is true,” she said.
“Artificial intelligence, algorithms and neuroscience are factors that are in constant interaction, which is demonstrated in social networks,” added Lacalle, reiterating the importance of education as an essential factor in educating the public.
The president said that in Uruguay there exists, from the current government and throughout its history, “a general and unrestricted respect for freedom with responsibility.”