Cuban Journalists Congress: Learning, Reflecting and Informing

The journalists´ organization arrives at its 8th Congress with 3,680 members, grouped in 174 local branches located in all media outlets throughout the country.

Over the next three days, delegates and guests from all branches will be gathering at Havana's Convention Center to address the most important aspects related to the role of journalists in Cuban society, as well as the challenges in today's world.

The increasing number of media outlets, the challenges posed by information technologies, the use of Internet, the training of new journalists, the need to keep providing many people around the world with accurate and true information on Cuban reality, which is usually distorted by the corporate media, are just some of the aspects dealt with in many assemblies held by Cuban journalists throughout the country in sessions prior to the plenary sessions that will take place this week.

Over the past days, a group of commissions analyzed major concerns, suggestions related to the work of Cuban journalists, which stemmed from local meetings of UPEC members. The commissions will draw up the main documents of the Congress.

Journalists in local meetings also elected the National UPEC Committee, made up of 40 members, which went on to elect the presidency of the Cuban journalists´ organization. During the election, the National Committee ratified Tubal Paez as President of the UPEC.

Speaking during the prime-time show "The Round Table", dedicated this Wednesday to the journalists´ congress, Tubal Paez said that this congress has included 170 meetings with journalists throughout the country, where major topics have been the use of new information technologies, training and editorial improvement, and editorial policy in order to further strengthen the daily work of Cuban media outlets. The process has provided an inside look into the journalists´ organization with valuable ideas and proposals that will be followed up after the congress.

He said that although the Union has held seventh congresses, the National UPEC Committee has held five full

plenary session, and Fidel Castro has been present in all UPEC congresses; his participation in those gatherings was crucial for journalists to reflect about the role of the media and their influence on the people, either positive or negative influence.

Paez also stressed the need to increase the number of journalists since the country lacks those professionals; therefore, new journalism faculties are being created in several provinces.

On July 3rd, some 181 delegates and 25 guests to the Congress, plus journalism students will be briefed on Cuban and world economy, the development of telecommunications and the world panorama by Cuban government officials.

The delegates will also discuss and approve modifications to their Ethic rules and statutes.

On July 4th and 5th, the Congress will debate a central report and will launch the book "Fidel Periodista" (Fidel, a Journalist). The 8th UPEC Congress will conclude July 5 after having drawn up important working strategies for Cuban journalism.

http://www.cubanews.ain.cu/2008/0702congupec.htm