Gabriel Boric’s words raised hives in the National Press Association (ANP)

“We have a lot of good news to give. When I see the newspaper headlines, I actually read the newspapers little, but the desire to prefer the bad ones is impressive,” said the President during his participation in the Sofofa Annual Industry Meeting.

His words spoken on the night of Wednesday, October 25, before the Annual Industry Meeting, raised hives in the National Press Association (ANP) when he criticized the work of media outlets such as La Tercera, El Mercurio and La Segunda. “I don’t know how those who continue reading the newspapers, El Mercurio, La Tercera, La Segunda, I don’t know how their hearts are after this, because it seems like we live in a hellish country and we are not in that,” said the president.

For its part, the National Press Association (ANP) described the President’s statements as  “hostile to journalistic work ,” which for said organization violates article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

«The statements of President Gabriel Boric on Wednesday, October 25, add to other actions by him and his government hostile to journalistic work, which began even during the last presidential campaign, and which forced him to request a public apology, as  happened  with a radio reporter during a press conference after a television debate,” reads the letter from the organization where several status quo media gather.

From El Ciudadano, we welcome that the President, making use of his freedom of expression, presents his critical vision of how the media covers the events in our country. This criticism needs to be made manifest and evident and this does not mean that we are controlling what each publishing house publishes or does not publish.

But we also point out our rejection of the privileged treatment that the media that the President criticizes today receives from the government.

Firstly, leaks of cabinet changes or internal government problems are always reported by traditional written media – as has happened with La Tercera -. Even the level of obtaining exclusive information regarding the decisions made by President Gabriel Boric is striking; revealing a “certain priority” when it comes to providing information to these media over the independent press.

The second is the concentrated state advertising that continues to benefit media outlets like El Mercurio with millions of dollars annually and whose readership is increasingly lower, but it is a media outlet to which almost all public organizations remain subscribed.

Mr. President, the efforts of your government to redistribute public advertising are appreciated, but these are still insufficient, they continue to be discriminatory and strengthen the power of bankers and economic groups over the State, rather than a plural ecosystem of media.

Likewise, given the President’s statements, we ask ourselves, if El Mercurio, La Segunda or La Tercera “misinform”, why prefer them from the communication side? Don’t you think it’s strange to criticize those who you yourselves use to disseminate informative content even with financing from all Chileans?

Furthermore, we must not forget that during the social outbreak and/or presidential campaigns, the independent press managed to combat disinformation or false content (fake news) reported by some traditional media and/or social networks. Even journalists from independent digital media have been exposed to judicial proceedings and/or harassment on social networks, demonstrating the vulnerability towards these professionals – although we cannot ignore that this situation is also faced by traditional press journalists.

We must protect the press, take care of it and suggest changes. Do not attack it, since it is one of the pillars of our democracy.

Finally, President Boric, a suggestion: Remember that the independent media fought the “fake news” created during his presidential campaign and continue to do so from now on. Don’t forget: We also exist.