Source: ResumenLatinoamericano.org / The Dawn / November 24, 2015.- To discuss among journalists how to face the dark clouds that are closing over the continent is an important task, and even more so if the discussion is held between popular movements and media with an important history of commitment and struggle. If we add to this that the reunion took place in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, in nowhere less than the Florestan Fernandes National School, where the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) has been managing for several years. Everything was set for great moments of sharing and learning.
The occasion was the Continental Meeting of Media, celebrated between November 20 and 22, and where Resumen Latinoamericano was invited along with 34 other media outlets of the continent, representing 18 countries. The event was called by the MST, the Continental Coordination of Social Movements towards the ALBA (ALBA Movements) and the journal Brasil de Fato. Its goals included debating, in relation to the media agenda, the productive routines and the expression of social and popular struggles of the continent. Also, to coordinate and share information on a continental, national and local level, besides contributing to the building of a —much needed— network of journalists. All of this takes into account the context of the continent, where the right and its media have not only regrouped but are marching on, voraciously.
The meeting began with three introductory talks aimed at outlining the situation, to act ‘as a trigger and an inspiration’ about the continental and international situation, the role that the corporate and the popular media play, as well as the influence and the contributions of new technologies in the computational area and in the much-touted social networks.
The referent of the Brazilian MST, Joao Pedro Stedile, took the floor and said that ‘there are moments where the peoples take a defensive stance, others in which they actively confront, and others where there is a reflux in the mass struggle, until the forces are balanced again and the people can carry on with the process’.
He explained that, currently, because of the imperialist offence and the crisis of capitalism, there is a context of reflux, but that we mustn’t rule out unforeseeable events that can revert this situation. And he concluded citing Lenin: ‘When the masses move together, they can manage in 20 days what they couldn’t achieve in 20 years’. That is, precisely, our hope.
He also remarked that we need to use the term ‘popular movements’ instead of ‘social movements’, because the former term is more inclusive and describes more clearly what is going on in the continent. (Read the complete talk here)
The second talk was given by the director of Resumen Latinoamericano, Carlos Aznárez, who addressed the role played in the current juncture by the corporate media and also the response that can be given by alternative media.
Lastly, two North American colleagues gave a very interesting approach to the use of the new technologies in social networks and the different uses of internet, and warned about the dangers and controls of those who rule the computational world.
After each talk, questions and debates arose, where experiences and testimonies were shared.
After the introductory talks, and for two days, the attendees participated in different workshops that included radios and TV stations, and print and digital media, to design proposals and coordinate common actions.
The high level of participation and discussion that took place in each workshop evidenced that alternative journalism is more alive than ever, despite its fight against the current, without economic resources, but ‘filled with activist passion’, as one of the speakers said.
There were also moments of great exchange in the Cultural Nights, in which each media outlet told their present and past history, in some cases providing photographic and recorded archive material, or giving out copies of their printed journals or magazines.
At the end of the Meeting, declarations of solidarity were released: one with Carlos Aznárez, director of Resumen Latinoamericano (Argentina), who is being persecuted by the Israeli DAIA for his solidarity with the Palestinian people, and with Mexican journalist Patricia Barba Avila, of the Independent Alternative Media Front (FEMCAI), who has been threatened by paramilitary groups in several opportunities, forcing her to quit her job and leaving the city in which she lived.
The journalists that participated in the Meeting also decided to begin building a lasting platform for each of the media to be a correspondent for the others, creating a permanent communicational network that, in case of an urgency, can provide immediate response.
Therefore, it was proposed and approved to take joint action in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution, in sight of the elections to be held on December 6, and that were regarded as strategic for the continent, especially now that the right has won the elections in Argentina.
Finally, it is worth to make special mention of the place where the Meeting was held, the Florestán Fernandes National School, a unique location in the continent, where hundreds of young people of the world concur to participate in seminars of political training. All of which is a part of an organizational work of outstanding quality such as the Brazilian MST, an organization with decades of development and in constant growth, that is an exponent of the most combative and revolutionary current in Latin America.
The media outlets present in the meeting were:
Brasil de Fato
Abya Yala Televisión
Agencia Prensa Rural
Periódico Prensa Alternativa
Grupo de Medios R
Radio 580 AM.
Russia Today – Spanish edition
Democracy Now! – Spanish edition
The Real News Network
ZUR pueblo de voces
Épale CCS Magazine