14ymedio, Havana, 15 November 2017 — Twitter is “our Bay of Pigs of the 21st Century” according to the journalist Enrique Moreno Gimeranez, who presented his book Manual for the Exercise of Digital Journalism on Twitter on Tuesday at Havana’s Capitolio.
In the volume, the author criticizes “the malpractice of Cuban journalism on Twitter” which “has inefficiently used this resource on several occasions through slogans difficult to understand, retain and reproduce by foreign recipients.”
The text, the thesis of the author’s degree, was presented in the Sala Baraguá of the National Assembly of Popular Power by Franco-Spanish journalist Ignacio Ramonet, Tubal Páez, honorary president of the Union of Journalists of Cuba (UPEC) and Rosa Miriam Elizalde, director of the official website Cubadebate.
Moreno studied journalism Marta Abreu Central University in Villa Clara and after graduating he started at the CMHW station La Reina Radial in Villa Clara, where he is currently working.
In Moreno Gimeranez’s thesis, available on the internet and now published by the Pablo de la Torriente Brau press, the use of Twitter by Cuban journalists is addressed, but without mentioning the independent press which has a strong presence on that social network.
All users, labels and moments mentioned in Manual For The Exercise Of Digital Journalism On Twitter, which has a print run of 2,000 copies, are exclusively linked to official media.
The idea of investigating the use of this social network on the Island came to Moreno Gimeranez when he was a third year journalism student and participated in the coverage of the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Havana in January of 2014.
The author collected interviews with nine experts from Spain, Argentina, the United States, Colombia, Peru and Cuba, among other countries.
During the presentation, journalist Rosa Miriam Elizalde pointed out that the book “is an example of the alliances that can be created to make communication practical.” While Ramonet urged “spreading to the new generations” the use of Twitter “not only technically, but in the more general area of social, political and cultural life.”
The call contrasts with the first years when Twitter began to be used by activists within the Island. The first accounts appeared between the end of 2007 and mid-2008, when the authorities lashed out harshly against the social network and the official newspaper Granma called Twitter “a tool created by the CIA.”
Over the years, state institutions and entities opened their own accounts on the social network of the little blue bird, which are frequently used to call for an end to the US embargo, repeat political slogans and distribute news from the official press.
In 2016, Cuba registered more than 4.5 million internet users, according to official data published by the country’s National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI).
However, in a report by Freedom House that analyzed the situation in 65 countries, the Island remained among the five worst nations in the world in terms of Internet freedom, with 79 negative points, only better than China (87), Ethiopia (86), Syria (86) and Iran (85).
In Latin America Cuba occupied the last position, w