Cuba’s journalists missing in action
My father came home with a question spinning in his head. “What is the
crime that several Cuban athletes in Finland are accused of?” He had
only learned the official statement signed by the Cuban Volleyball
Federation read on primetime news on Monday and published in the
official press. The text did not clarify the imputed misdeed, so my
father speculated: “Illegal sale of tobacco? Theft? Public scandal?”
The rape of a woman, for which the athletes are presumed responsible,
was not mentioned in the statement, which constitutes an act of secrecy,
concealment of the truth and disrespect for the audience. The official
press acts as if we are small children with delicate ears to whom they
cannot mention any gory details. Or worse still, as if we don’t deserve
to know the seriousness of the accusations.
What happened, again makes clear the straitjacket that prevents
information professionals from doing their jobs within the Communist
Party-controlled media. This is something that many of them bear with
pain and frustrations, while others—the most opportunistic—take
advantage of the censorship to do work that is mediocre or convenient
for the powers-that-be.
Why has no prominent Prensa Latina correspondent in Europe gone to
Finland to report minute-by-minute on what is happening with the
athletes from the island?
We suffer omissions of this type every day in the national media. These
absences, now chronic, belie the winks that accompany Cuban first
vice-president Miguel Diaz-Canel’s call for a journalism more attached
to reality and without self-censorship. Where, now, is that official to
urge the reporters to investigate and publish the details regarding the
fate of the volleyball players?
It is very convenient to urge the journalists to be more daring and to
take the time to guide them to be cautious or to remain silent. Such
duplicity has been repeated so many times over the last five decades
that it has inculcated in the collective imagination the idea that the
press is synonymous with propaganda and with being an informer, a
representative of the government.
The damage inflicted on Cuban journalism is profound and systematic.
Repairing it will take time, a framework of respect for such an
honorable profession and even the emergence of a generation of informers
who are not marked by the “vices” of the current academy of Cuban
journalism. These young people, without compromises with power, are the
only hope left to us.
Source: Cuba’s journalists missing in action | In Cuba Today –
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