World Association of News Publishers

Sustainability of News: The Ibero-American media associations joint work agenda

Sustainability of News: The Ibero-American media associations joint work agenda

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 2019-11-10

On November 10, 2019, The Ibero-American media associations held a new meeting to consolidate a joint work agenda around the challenges posed by the present and future sustainability of the journalistic industry.

During a meeting held in Rio de Janeiro on 10 November 2019, the Ibero-American media associations agreed on a joint work agenda around the challenges posed by the present and future sustainability of the journalistic industry in the region. They also discussed ways for a legal framework to preserve the intellectual property of content and its commercial exploitation on the Internet.

The entities representing the region's media expressed their alarm at the constant advances of views recently voiced in Latin America that conspire against the exercise of a free and independent press.

The development and progress that the Internet and new technologies with their consequent transformations in the production, distribution and accessibility of news content have strengthened the role and commitment that citizens demand from the media

However, delegates consider that the alleged axiom that "what is published on the Internet is free and accessible to all", based on an inadequate interpretation of the principle of "net neutrality", has allowed the systematic violation of the intellectual property rights and undermines their very existence of journalism.

This phenomenon not only affects the journalistic work of traditional media, but also expands to other cultural and creative industries such as music and literature among others. For the directors gathered in Rio de Janeiro, the new paradigms that impact the information media challenge the entire ecosystem: regulators, digital platforms and the journalistic industry.

Changes in information consumption habits all over the world are imposing on traditional media renewed responses from digital platforms of which they are also the main protagonists. While all this is happening, newspaper companies must rethink their work and production processes, which requires levels of investment never seen before in the industry, with the paradox that
the digital business model has global players with new offers that impose rules and conditions on advertisers, one of the main financers of journalism.

The directors raised the need to deepen the analysis of these problems. This includes accentuating the contacts already established with global, European and American organisations that have taken steps to defend the intellectual property rights of their digital content and promote free and fair competition. This debate is global and clearly shows that we are entering a new phase that will require strengthening and redefining the existing rules.

The European Union has taken the legislative lead on some of these issues. In April 2019, the European Parliament passed a new Directive on Copyright and related rights in the digital single market. France took the lead on the subject of the neighbouring right created by the Directive in favour of press agencies and publishers with the adoption of the law of July 24 2019 creating a neighbouring right for the benefit of press agencies and publishers. It recognises the economic rights of authors and the consequent need to participate in the value sharing derived from their commercial exploitation on digital platforms.

On the other hand, Ibero-American associations committed to identify and analyse the changing social, technological, political, regulatory and commercial dynamics at play to identify strategies that ensure the mission of journalism. In that context, it is imperative to uphold the rules of free competition without distorting the values and ethics guidelines of professional news. In a fast-changing environment, they should reassert the respective responsibilities of media, audiences and authorities and always investigate future financial models to secure the long-term independence and competitiveness of the media industry.

Together with other sister associations in the world, the Ibero-American associations will seek to promote a united voice and a common set of actions. The objective of a coordinated plan is intended to generate synergies and strengthen the much-needed cooperation in an increasingly globalised context.

Representatives of the Ibero-American Associations in Rio de Janeiro, Nov 10, 2019Representatives of the Ibero-American Associations in Rio de Janeiro, Nov 10, 2019

The meeting in Rio de Janeiro was attended by elected Presidents and Executive Directors representing the Associação Nacional de Jornais (ANJ, Brazil), the Association of Argentine Journalistic Entities (Adepa, Argentina), the National Press Association (ANP, Chile), the Asociación Ecuatoriana de Editores de Periódicos (Aedep), the Asociación Colombiana de Medios de Información (AMI), the Asociación de Medios de Información (AMI, Spain), and by the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

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