Cuban Journalists Debate New Communication Policy at 10th Congress

Havana, July 13 (Prensa Latina) The Union of Cuban Journalists (UPEC) began its Tenth Congress here today, during which it will discuss contributions to the implementation of the Communication Policy and the press model needed for the country.

Presenting the main theme of the conference, ‘How can the Cuban press and journalism contribute to the implementation of the Communication Policy’, UPEC National Committee member Raul Garces pointed out several of the challenges in this process, among them those of management, innovation and credibility in the media.

Garces, also dean of the Faculty of Communication at the University of Havana, reminded those present that a group of objectives and principles ‘does not magically solve problems which are sometimes historically accumulated and with a cultural sediment’.

However, he affirmed that ‘in the case of Cuba, in the midst of all the past and present threats, it is the opportunity to give socialism a modern, participative, innovative and irrevocably democratic face’.

‘It is up to us to understand the role of the creative industries in the contemporary world, to manage them and take advantage of them boldly,’ said Garces, who stressed that the new policy provides for the sale of products and services, international cooperation, advertising and sponsorship, among others, as sources of financing (in those places where it is approved).

According to the scholar, it is a good step to build alliances and give muscle to the system of public media to transcend the production of content and stop at the added value that each journalistic organization could generate, but without dazzling or obscuring the economy.

‘Running a media organization in today’s Cuba requires a culture, a very personal approach and a great deal of political sensitivity, not minimizing threats, but also not letting opportunities pass through as easy, inertia or professional cowardice,’ he added.

However, he insisted that the best idea and the best policy can crash into practice if the conditions are not created to make them viable.

‘This congress,’ he stated, ‘calls us to analyze together how to successfully implement the recently approved Communication Policy’.

‘The future of the Cuban Revolution is certainly at stake in the fields of economy and politics, but also, and with significant force, in the symbolic field,’ he stressed.

The national meeting of the UPEC, organised under the slogan ‘The truth needs us’, will conclude tomorrow with debates on the press model needed for socialism on the island.

During the congress delegates will also work in five committees: Functioning of the UPEC, Ethics and communication, Media aggression against Cuba, Innovation and new technologies and Content management.

In addition, the delegates will elect the president of the association and approve the work plan for the next five years.

Founded on July 15, 1963, UPEC has 3,920 members throughout the country. More than 52 per cent of the total are women.

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