Hoping for Another Press / Fernando Dámaso

Our official press, the only one authorized, has been characterized by a triumphalist approach to national events and friendly governments, and a catastrophic one toward all others, mainly the United States and the European Union. This narrow political and ideological prism determines what information is selected and written about, and even establishes its degree of importance. Thus we find headlines which in any normal country, would have no significance.

Another striking feature is the profusion of news related to problems in the country to the north and in Europe, to the detriment of the treatment of national affairs which should be the priority, since most readers are Cuban citizens. This situation forces us to seek national information outside the official media.

In recent years some space and time has been devoted to criticizing the national reality, of course, properly balanced and diluted among adverse weather conditions, the embargo (called the blockade), difficulties with supplies, transportation, etc., and without going too high up the scale of responsibilities, reaching only to the category of functionaries. These appear as those primarily to blame for the numerous political, economic and social setbacks, almost always because the didn’t comply with, or properly implement, directives from higher authorities.

Also, with a press that hides from reality, it is very difficult to clear the way to solve problems. If the reality is not known by the citizens, if there is not an open inquiry into its causes, if there is a continued insistence on hiding to not give the game away to the enemy, there is little that can be accomplished, despite all the calls-to-action and propaganda, with regards to civic responsibility.

Political, economic and social changes are needed. It is a national desire. A responsible press could facilitate it, without straightjackets, with journalists who exercise their profession honestly and are not mere functionaries, following orders, incapable of finding independent sources of news. These professionals have existed in our history. In this way a single press could be credible and respected.

December 28 2010