Diario SUR and the rest of the Vocento newspapers have decided to stop participating in government press conferences which relate to the Covid-19 crisis as they protest against filtering questions during the press conferences.
THEY argue that the government previously selects and filters questions from the media during the press conferences. In practice, this prevents journalists from freely asking their own questions without intermediaries and it also prevents direct honest answers from the spokesperson.
The right to information is included in Spain’s article 20 of the Constitution. The job of a newspaper is to be a medium of communication which transmits objective and factual news to the reader. Since the coronavirus crisis, the journalism has been impoverished at the governmental press releases and conferences.
For this reason, after conveying their disagreement to Moncloa under the ‘Freedom to Ask’ manifesto, which was backed by over 500 journalists and dozens of media outlets in 24 hours, the different Vocento newspapers have decided to stop participating in these press conferences as long as these selective filtration methods continue to be used.
Since the publication of this manifesto, the Federation of Associations of Journalists in Spain, the Madrid Press Association, and Reporters Without Borders, amongst others, have all defended the interests of journalistic integrity. They urge that the Executive organises press conferences in a way that does not limit the journalistic practice and exercises and call for the Secretary of State for Communication to find a solution to the issue.