Media Center

Press Release

OAS Launches Center for Media Integrity of the Americas

  June 7, 2022

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, today launched the Center for Media Integrity of the Americas, a new hub funded by voluntary donations to promote and support the practice of independent, non-interest affiliated journalism and social media production in the Americas.

In its first steps, the core activities of the Center will include:

  • Recurring journalism and social media seminars for both traditional and new media creators, conducted by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland
  • An annual awards program hosted by the OAS Secretary General
  • The Washington Post and the Fundación Gabo (Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation), based in Cartagena, Colombia, are founding partners of the Center as well, serving on the Council of Advisors and as convening centers, possibly hosting future activities.

In further steps, the Center will promote other initiatives that recognize and support fact-based, rigorous journalism and social media information dissemination. The Center will also strive to expand its network of partnerships with journalists, media outlets, academia and NGOs throughout the Americas who share the same values and goals.

The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, said, “It is essential for the sustainability of any democracy that citizens have relevant, factual information to make the best possible decisions. That right is being openly challenged by malicious stakeholders misusing the multiple communication technologies at our disposal these days to spread disinformation and misinformation that promote their agendas at all costs. This is threatening democracy in all our countries. Today we launch this Center for Media Integrity of the Americas to support those citizens’ right to information and invite all potential partners throughout the Americas to join us in this endeavor.”

A Board of Directors will oversee the Center’s fundraising activities. A separate and independent Council of Advisors will develop the awards program and contribute to structuring and support the seminar curriculum. The full composition of the current Council of Advisors is available here.

The Center is launched as a project of the OAS General Secretariat, to be transitioned to a not-for-profit, independent organization.

The goals and values of the Center are intrinsically connected to core mandates of the OAS, such as supporting and defending democracy and human rights in the Americas, as reflected in the OAS Charter and the OAS Inter-American Democratic Charter.

The Center’s first Executive Director will be former US Ambassador to Panama, John Feeley.

Reference: E-029/22