Madrid, Feb 11 (EFE).- Latin America is a “treasure” for Spain’s EFE news agency, which is looking to maintain its position and boost its capacity to grow in the region, the organization’s president Gabriela Cañas said Friday.
The agency is also looking to reach new deals with companies in the region with a remit in environmental causes and health, Cañas added during a meeting of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) as part of a monthly conference.
This new initiative, called EANA Xchange, was opened last month by the Turkish news agency Anadolu.
Cañas was the first of the EANA member agencies’ presidents to address the platform.
The head of Spain’s leading news agency highlighted the importance of the Latin American market for the company due to the shared language and historical links, noting that EFE has 20 offices in the region.
Following her presentation, EANA members expressed their solidarity with EFE over the recent difficulties it has faced in Cuba, where authorities last November withdrew accreditation from five EFE journalists in Havana.
One reporter and a video journalist had their press credentials reinstated following protests from a number of international organizations.
The Efe president said she was hopeful that the situation would be resolved soon, and highlighted the intense diplomatic efforts undertaken to that end.
The Spanish agency leads the international coverage of current affairs in Cuba, which, Cañas said, demonstrates the importance of granting entry to Juan Palop, the EFE bureau chief in Havana who has been unable to assume his role since his appointment in July 2021.
Cañas went on to mention the deterioration of press freedom in a number of Latin American countries including Venezuela, Nicaragua, Mexico and Brazil.
Local journalists are the first to suffer in the region, she added, pointing to the fact that five journalists have been murdered in Mexico so far this year.
Elaborating on this, Cañas said that “real freedom of press” required not only a competitive media landscape but also collaborative work to provide society with “verified and qualified” information.
To this end, EFE launched its fact-checking service Efe Verfica in 2019 in response to the global spread of misinformation.
She noted the agency’s participation in the European Newsroom, a new initiative bringing together 16 agencies led by Germany’s DPA that will cover European Union affairs and reinforce the journalism industry.
Cañas was joined by 30 people for Friday’s meeting, among them seven agency leaders including Clemens Pig, executive president of Austrian news agency APA and of the EANA, Peter Kropsch, president and CEO of DPA and Joaquim Carreira, president of Portugal’s LUSA news agency.EFE