Voice of America participated in the 2022 Alianza Informativa Latinoamericana General Assembly in Montevideo, Uruguay -- its first in person gathering in nearly three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three-day event from May 4 to 6, featured members of 22 private television networks based throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with presentations and panel discussions on a variety of topics including the latest trends in media, best practices, digital innovations and press freedom. Organizers stressed the importance of their shared interests and a strong desire to have greater collaboration among members in the future.
Acting VOA Director Yolanda López said she was excited to attend the event and the opportunity to meet with a number of VOA affiliates based in the region.
“I’m thrilled to be able to talk to our colleagues who help VOA reach our audiences,” López said. “At Voice of America we give regional issues a global perspective and find that news like the Russian invasion of Ukraine is of interest to our global audience and especially to our Spanish speaking viewers.”
López introduced VOA Press Freedom Editor Jessica Jerreat to the assembly. Jerreat spoke to the attendees about VOA’s dedicated press freedom coverage that examines threats to journalists and media around the globe, including in Latin America.
“The journalist communities we connect with are turning to us when they come under pressure, knowing we can not only cover their case but also offer a platform to the stories they no longer feel safe to cover. ” Jerreat told AIL attendees. “More and more we find reporters harassed or attacked while on what should be a routine assignment. Leaders try to demean and discredit out work. It shouldn’t be that way.”
Press freedom is a core issue across VOA’s networks, with dedicated online coverage in English and at least 14 other languages, among them Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, Dari, Burmese and Vietnamese.
“By making Press Freedom a beat, we can support one another, we can assist each other through cross-border collaboration and underscore the important role journalists play, and through it, to provide engaging credible content from around the world. Because, as all of us here today know, a free press matters,” Jerreat added.
AIL, which in English stands for Latin American Information Alliance, is a non-profit organization created in 2005. Throughout its 10 years in operation, AIL has provided support for production and coverage of events on politics, culture, sports, and entertainment. The main headquarters of "Alianza Informativa Latinoamericana" is located in Bogota, Colombia and led by the network Caracol Television (Colombia).