dimanche, janvier 14, 2007

Actualité - Cuba’s Press Mulls New Challenges

The 8th National Festival of the Cuban Print Media came to a close Friday afternoon with a call for stepped up training of journalists in the new computer technologies and more effective use of the Internet to circulate Cuba’s reality and positions to combat the hostile international mass media.

Rolando Alfonso Borges, head of the Ideological Dept. of the Communist Party Central Committee, gave the closing speech. He praised the thoughtful and profound debates of the two previous days where the principal problems facing Cuban journalists were discussed in plenary panels and workshops.

Alfonso said that the Party has set as a priority to address the resource needs of the press, limited since the early 1990s as the country struggled to rebuild its economy.

"We need a press at the same height as the major transformations and needs of the Revolution," said Alfonso adding, "People must see their problems and concerns increasingly reflected in the media. For that to happen we need investigations, a wealth of language, and creativity with professional and political responsibility."

The nearly 400 members of the Cuban Journalists Association present approved a message of support and revolutionary commitment to President Fidel Castro, while wishing him a speedy recovery.

Friday’s session opened with a presentation by Eliades Acosta, director of the National Library, who suggested a richer use of language in tune with daily life in Cuba to achieve a better communication with the population. He also emphasized the need to make increased use of the numerous sources available like archives, libraries and the Internet to back up journalist’s arguments and unmask distortions of history that he said take place on a regular basis.

Later in the morning, several presentations were made on the quality and reach of the Cuban online press. The island’s media currently has 128 Internet sites, 34 of which belong to newspapers and local and national magazines. In graphics, the need was shown to seek ways to increase the visibility of the Cuban websites.

Using the Internet as a space to exercise social justice and spread knowledge was noted by the journalists as well as the current disadvantages and other limitations in access and computer technology facing the majority of the populations in the underdeveloped world.

Fidel Castro’s ideas on the Internet were highlighted. For decades the Cuban leader has spoken of the Internet as an opportunity for development, a sphere to influence culturally and politically and a means to defend against the wave of lies and misinformation campaigns.

Alfredo Nieves, from the Foreign Ministry website, noted the importance of the online Cuban sites in different languages as a way to extend the country’s positions to different regions of the world. He pointed also to the need of maintaining the websites updated on a daily basis.

Arnaldo Coro, of Radio Havana Cuba, emphasized the need for ongoing training programs to use the new technological tools to their potential and obtain greater presence on the Internet. Coro said journalists should also be aware of the past, current and future projections of the industry.

The event ended with the delivery of prizes, mentions and recognitions to the best Cuban publications in 16 categories.

Besides Rolando Alfonso Borges, Vice President Lazo and relatives of the Cuban Five who attended the closing session, the day’s debates were presided by Albrerto Alvarino and Angel Arzuaga, from the Central Committee Ideological Dept. and Tubal Paez, president of the Cuban Journalists Association.


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