16 August, 2022

Debate on freedom of expression, journalism and "fake news" in Canada

Oscar Vigil

Toronto, Glen. In these times of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media resources, the possibility of spreading "fake news" is at the fingertips. Credible and truthful sources often are buried under large amounts of gigabytes, and journalists really, with their training and their commitment to balance and objectivity they seem rather a memory of the past.

But not all is lost. At least not yet. Y, it's more, with the flowering of viral falsehoods, it seems that many people are returning to check the original sources. At least that was the feeling I left the roundtable discussion "Current Challenges of freedom of expression in Latin America", which it took place last Saturday in Toronto.

In the activity, Debate organized by Magazine and the Latin American Cultural Center, Guillermo Fernández participated journalists Ampié, Nicaraguan, former editor of Barricada International Magazine and current professor at the Autonomous University of Mexico; Isabel Inclan, Mexican, Canada correspondent of the Mexican Notimex; Luisa Moncada, Salvadoran, Toronto correspondent of the News Agency Voice of Diaspora; and Freddy Velez, Colombian, Editor in Chief of the newspaper Correo Canadian, Toronto. The conversation was moderated by journalist Gilberto Rogel, Salvadoran, Magazine editor Debate.

Each of the journalists spoke about the current situation of freedom of expression in their respective countries, but nevertheless, once again and always he came to collation the current state of journalism and freedom of expression in the media Hispanics in Toronto, as well as the impact of social networks in building news.

The conversation was plentiful and passionate, particularly when he touched the audience ask questions or give your opinion. Tension invaded the room sometimes, exposing the motley political composition, social, economic and ideological forming the Latino community here in Canada.

But without any doubt, It was an excellent exercise for discussion and analysis of the information realities immigrant communities living, particularly when they directly touch their countries of origin or their political / ideological preferences.

"I think we've been on a fast events like this, and how good they arise, because we had the opportunity not only among us journalists but also with an audience that has been very interested, very judicious, attentive and very active, to make an exchange of ideas that at some point was a little tense, but it was very good because we are not looking unanimism, but what we want is to generate a dialogue precisely ", said the journalist Freddy Vélez.

He added that this conversation was very enriching, particularly at a time when social networks through algorithms are taking the right ideas that have just read and discuss with people right, and those who are left do as well with only the left, which prevents a broader worldview.

Journalist Isabel Inclan agrees with this approach, ensuring it was a good discussion exercise, collective analysis between Latin American journalists on key issues such as freedom of expression. "Many people talked about what to do with social networks, con las “fake news”, censorship and killings in several countries. I think this is a good democratic exercise, collective, where there was freedom of expression, and how good that this space of communication and everyone the best of what you have collected takes ".

He said he was glad that there has been dissonant positions among all participants, because "whenever there is diversity will be enriching dialogue, analysis. If we all thought the same, for then better we're going to dance because there is nothing to talk about ".

Luisa Moncada, correspondent of the Voice of Diaspora.

Meanwhile, journalist Luisa Moncada seemed very flattering to see so many people who came to conversatorio as it shows they are interested in the subject. "I also found it very interesting to recognize as a journalist that people are at a time when he is criticizing the work of journalism, you are aware of what we are doing and you are taking stance also on the work of journalists. I think this is definitely a challenge for journalists, because we are dedicated not only to inform but also to take criticism than inform ", express.

For journalist Gilberto Rogel, the topic is very broad. "There is 20 thousand questions, 20 thousand answers, the group of speakers demonstrated the plurality of ideas we have in Latin America and especially here in Toronto, and ideologized is the Latin American community in Toronto was also demonstrated and how the passions overflow, because many people are passionate about and lost the compass, and do not let you see the opinions of other nature ", he explained.