Lima declaration

2nd Latin-American Conference on Trade Unions’ Strategies in the face of Global and Digital Media

21 to 23, July 2003, Lima, Peru

Lima Declaration

We, participants to the Second Latin-American Conference on Trade Unions’ Strategies in the face of Global and Digital Media, representing the Media workers and journalists of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela, Latin-American countries,


That digital media and new information technologies offer previously nonexistent opportunities for extending the scope for public information and improving citizens’ access to information.

That professional journalism, pluralism in the media and union rights for media workers are essential in the implementation of the necessary conditions for democratic and high-quality information at the service of society.

That the growing power of global media and the concentration of ownership of these media on a national level endanger the quality of journalism, impair cultural identity and diversity and reduce pluralism.

That it is very urgent and necessary to elaborate information strategies in order to confront the challenges of today’s world at the Global Summit on the Information Society, planned to be held in Geneva in December 2003,

We declare:

That journalists, trade unions, groups involved in civil society and Latin-American governments must act jointly in order to ensure that the Declaration of Principles and the Action Plan be exhaustive and reflect the need for social cohesion, cultural diversity and the guarantee of high-quality journalism to serve all the citizens.

Governments must ensure that the Declaration and Action Plan support the legal instruments designed for the regulation of the practise of professional journalism, which are important steps in order to uphold the continued existence of freedom of expression values. Governments must create the best legislative and regulatory framework to promote the creation of the information society, guaranteeing at the same time the competency, defence and pluralism of services. In this respect, the obstacles to freedom of expression, opinion and practise of journalism must disappear.

Governments must implement the best legislative and regulatory framework to promote the creation of the Information Society, guaranteeing at the same time the defence of competency and pluralism in the services provided.

Governments should also ensure a new definition for universal service in the context of broadband networks. Specific obligations must be imposed, such as localisation, prices and the quality of services, cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as regulatory mechanisms so as to ensure that these obligations are applied.

Governments must act to preserve and develop the original systems of public service broadcasting at a national level, accessible by all the citizens, and must work in conjunction with civil society, supporting them with public funds from communitarian networks.

Therefore, we insist that governments intervene to set up a Declaration and an Action Plan that would adopt the following priorities:

To develop policies contributing to the positive expression of Human Rights in the Information Society. The Summit must ensure that the Information Society respects Human Rights, in particular the rights of Freedom of Expression as defined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international entities, the right of access to information and the right to work in conditions that reflect fundamental international labour standards.

  • To establish norms and regulations in order to fight against media concentration admitting that media products not only incorporate economic elements, but also have a cultural, social and democratic value that must be respected through special antitrust laws, which guarantee pluralism, diversity, freedom of expression and information.

  • To defend author’s rights for journalists and other media professionals.

  • To guarantee editorial independence and recognition of ethical standards for journalists and other media professionals so that they can work in accordance with their own principles of conscience.

  • To claim and demand the application of Trade Unions’ rights and media workers’ social protection including freelance workers. These rights must reflect international labour norms in order to make them applicable to the Information Society.

  • To regulate the definitions of citizens’ rights in the Information Society and encourage the follow-up of the subsequent agreements in the Information Society.

  • To respect public service values in the media and the support of traditional media as well as the genuine public service broadcasting’s contribution in order to ensure that the Information Society respects pluralism and diversity.

  • To demand from governments, workers’ organisations and media companies the respect of workers’ rights, in particular the right to form and become a member of trade unions and to ask for collective agreements without which the freedom of expression and the right to information are seriously affected and restrained, as it is impossible to inform freely, in an environment of authoritarianism, repression and violation of media workers’ fundamental rights.

  • Here are the minimum requirements in order to make the Global Summit contribute in a positive and practical way in the creation of an Information Society that would be exhaustive, fair and democratic and for the preservation and development of press freedom and workers’ rights.

    In the framework of these strategies, participant organisations are committed:

    A) To implement in each country, and on a Latin-American level, an observatory of digital and global media managed by workers and their organisations, academic bodies as well as by civil society along with a study of the legal framework and unions’ strategies posed by the new “reality” of modern times.

    B) To promote a digital-based debate titled “Periodismo Nuevo Tiempo”, which deals with best practice initiatives and issues of mutual support between media workers, corporative entities, NGOs and investigators.

    Participant organisations ratify the positions of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in the preparatory debate to the Global Summit on the Information Society and to uphold the responsibility of promoting the necessary criteria for the defence of freedom of expression, right to information, workers’ rights and democratisation of the Information Society in front of National Commissions and respective governments, as well as to defend these positions among journalists and workers in the field of social communication and in the society of each country.

    Federación Argentina de Trabajadores de Prensa (FATPREN)

    Federación Nacional de Periodistas (FENAJ-Brasil)

    Sindicato Nacional de Periodistas de Costa Rica (SNP)

    Centro de Solidaridad FIP (CESOFIP-Colombia)

    Sindicato de Periodistas y Similares de El Salvador (SINPESS)

    Federación Nacional de Trabajadores de los Medios de Comunicación Social de Chile (FENATRAMCO)

    Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria de la Prensa y Similares de Honduras (SITINPRES)

    Sindicato Nacional de Redactores de Prensa de México (SNRP)

    Sindicato Nacional de Periodistas de Nicaragua (SNPN)

    Sindicato de Periodistas de Panamá (SPP)

    Sindicato de Periodistas del Paraguay (SPP)

    Asociación Nacional de Periodistas del Perú (ANP)

    Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Prensa de la República Dominicana (SNTP)

    Asociación de Prensa Uruguaya (APU)

    Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Prensa de Venezuela (SNTP)

    Lima, 23rd of July 2003