Zuliana Lainez Otero is Secretary General of the National Association of Journalists of Peru (ANP). She has been a member of the IFJ Executive Board since 2010. Portrait.
Everyone at the IFJ knows that Zuliana doesn’t necessarily need a microphone. Her voice carries beyond the bounds of the profession and trade unionism. Now aged 38, the editor-in-chief of Cronica Viva, the online opinion magazine in Lima discovered the passion for her trade when still young. “My father was a journalist at La Republica,” she explains. “I often remember the hectic spirit in the editorial offices when the editions were being finalised, people rushing into the office to finish off their articles and the photo negatives which I used to play with... I always wanted to be a journalist, to be the voice of the people with no voice, to be able to provide people with verified information in order to get to the truth.”
Trade union involvement was also an obvious choice: “My father was a union member too! These two commitments are linked. It is necessary for me to be both at the same time. When you are a journalist, you are competing against your rivals to get the news out first. When you are a trade unionist, you are proposing a joint response to the problems faced by the entire profession. We are stronger together, especially when we find ourselves under a banner chanting the same slogans. Even in spite of our differences. For me, trade union membership is the best way of promoting the struggle, fraternity and solidarity. Even if we don’t always agree, we mustn’t make any mistakes about what we are fighting for...”
The same backbone
Zuliana is very proud to have been voted to lead the IFJ and to take part in the actions of the world’s largest federation of journalists. She was first elected onto the Executive Board at the conference in Cadiz in 2010, before being re-elected in 2013 in Dublin. In 10 years, she will be just the same: an eternal international fighter for gender equality, trade union rights, ethics and good journalism. “Our generation will see many changes. But journalism will stay the same, whatever the medium. To write your article, journalists always ask the same questions and will continue to do so in the future: the backbone of journalism will remain the same.”
So the Peruvian will continue to go down into the streets, to remind us of these fundamental values around the world. With or without a microphone.
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