Each of the IAPA’s programs is aimed at increasing understanding among journalists in the northern and southern parts of the hemisphere regarding the conditions they face in their respective countries. The IAPA provides an ongoing forum for journalists, editors and publishers to exchange ideas and opinions.
The cornerstone of the IAPA is the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, which continuously monitors all violations of press freedom in the Western Hemisphere and reviews these violations in its semiannual reports. The committee works as follows:
Each country has a regional vice president who reports to the committee on the issues and developments affecting press freedom in that country.
Reports are reviewed and discussed twice each year: at the Midyear Meeting in the spring and at the General Assembly in October. The committee presents its conclusions and recommendations to the Board of Directors.
The press freedom reports and resolutions are widely distributed among governments, intergovernmental bodies and civil society organizations throughout the Americas and the world, with the help of the Global Coordinating Committee of Press Freedom Organizations.
Responses to a threat or violation of press freedom may vary from issuing a simple resolution stating that our organization is aware of a potential threat, to sending a special mission so that our members can investigate further or raise the issue directly with those responsible for the problem.
The Chapultepec Project
The Declaration of Chapultepec is named for the site where it was drafted and adopted in March 1994: Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. It is based on the premise that “no law or act of government may limit freedom of expression or of the press, whatever the medium.” The Chapultepec Project:
Organizes international conferences and forums featuring representatives of all three branches of government, and works to increase public awareness of the importance of press freedom and freedom of speech.
Has organized more than 30 national forums, 15 judicial/legislative conferences, and 50 signing ceremonies with heads of state since 1994, and has also held three hemispheric conferences with Supreme Court justices and speakers of Congress, as well as on journalistic values.
Promotes the development of supranational case law.
Organizes emergency forums in locations where press freedom is under threat.
Publishes books and pamphlets on issues ranging from journalistic ethics to comparative law.
Organizes opportunities for members of the profession to discuss and reflect on journalistic values and ethics.
Encourages journalists and the general public to take action to combat impunity, violence and self-censorship, through initiatives such as the Declaration of Pucallpa, the Declaration of Hermosillo and the Phoenix Project.
Pursues the investigation of crimes against journalists in the Western Hemisphere through the IAPA’s Rapid Response Units.
Carries out educational work in the public and private sectors on issues related to violence against journalists; investigates crimes against journalists and refers cases to international bodies.
Conducts broad media campaigns and provides training for journalists through seminars and conferences aimed at reducing risks in news coverage.
Holds hemispheric conferences on how to combat impunity, with the participation of judges, legislators, political leaders, and representatives of civil society.
Publishes pamphlets and videos, and regularly updates the “Risk Map,” a guide to the hazards that journalists face in cities and towns large and small in the most troubled countries.
The mission of the educational arm of the IAPA is to raise the standards of professionalism among newspapers and to promote the financial soundness of media outlets as a way to ensure their journalistic independence. The Press Institute:
Provides more than 15 training events per year for media reporters, photographers, managers, editors and executives. Effective newsroom management, productivity, sound finances, the harnessing of new technologies in a modern newspaper, marketing, the impact of photography and design — all of these elements contribute to the financial soundness of a media outlet and, therefore, to its independence.
Publishes Hora de Cierre, one of the few Spanish-language periodicals devoted to the journalism industry, as well as books on issues ranging from administrative management to the implementation of the Newspapers in Education program.
Promotes opportunities for media outlets from various countries to share experiences and exchange professionals.
As part of its efforts to promote the highest standards of journalism in the Americas, the IAPA grants a wide range of awards for journalistic excellence. Each year the IAPA recognizes work published in the hemisphere’s leading newspapers in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Funded by member contributions, awards are handed out in 10 main categories, in addition to the IAPA Grand Prize for Press Freedom.
To support quality in journalism education, the IAPA works through the independent Latin American Council for Journalism Education Accreditation (CLAEP) to promote the accreditation of communication and journalism schools in Latin America. The goal is to encourage these schools to maintain up-to-date curricula that reflect the latest developments in the journalism industry. CLAEP is committed to ensuring that future members of the press are effectively trained as allies in the struggle for freedom of the press and freedom of speech, as a way of raising the standards of journalism in the Americas.
The IAPA publishes and distributes its official bulletin Notisip/IAPA News free of charge to more than 2,500 members and organizations throughout the hemisphere. We also maintain seven Web sites, including one devoted to the independent press in Cuba.
The IAPA Scholarship Fund promotes the professional development of journalists in the Americas. Scholarships have been awarded to more than 400 journalists over the past 50-plus years to study at universities in Latin America and North America.
Freedom Forum Library
The IAPA’s Freedom Forum Library is one of the leading independent reference libraries on journalism in the Americas. It is housed on the seventh floor of the IAPA’s Jules Dubois Building in Miami.