Colombia Reports started one and a half years ago as a very basic weblog showing the news we felt was left out of the international media, but has grown out to be Colombia’s main news source in English. It’s time for a discussion about where we stand.
It seems that sometimes there’s a misunderstanding concerning the identity of Colombia Reports and its newsroom and those who contribute opinion articles for our ‘perspective’ section. What we want to do now is establish where we as a media outlet stand.
We are still working things out internally, but we also want to know your ideas about this. Mind you, we don’t want your political opinion about issues like the FARC, sex tourism or paramilitarism, we want to know how you expect us to deal with these issues as a news outlet. Please have a good look and let us know what you expect from us, what you disagree with concerning our stand and what points we have forgotten.
The points are a draft and will be changed after taking your critique into consideration.
Make sure that when you respond, you clearly tell us what point you refer to and if you want feedback. We’ll be monitoring closely to make sure the reactions are on-topic.
Here’s the points we figured out so far:
- We always attempt to bring news on Colombia in the least biased way, but as all media, we fail in doing this perfectly. To be fully informed on Colombia, you will need to read / watch / listen to more media.
- The newsroom is and will be independent of any other party, whether commercial, social or political.
- Because Colombians speak Spanish, our main focus will be on gringos who are interested in Colombia because of family ties, economic or social interest, because they live or are traveling in Colombia or plan to live or travel in Colombia or because their government is spending their tax money in Colombia.
- We are loyal only to our audience and only serve our audience by informing them or allowing them to read opinions we think can enrich their view on things.
- We believe in democracy. We expect Colombian politicians to work according to the principles of democracy. We consider corruption a violation of the democratic rights of the people that should be punished.
- We believe in the rule of law and reject any form of impunity. If we have to obey the law, we demand those who are trusted to positions of power do the same and be punished like we are if the law is broken.
- We believe in human rights and demand all those in Colombia to be enjoying these rights. Any violation of human rights within Colombia should primarily be prosecuted by Colombian courts.
- We believe in the freedom of press and the freedom of speech and we will allow the opinion of people even if we disagree with them and even if we find their opinion ridiculous or anti-democratic.
- On Colombia Reports, we allow space for opinion with the idea of challenging the opinions of others and we attempt to bring opinions from the left and the right, as well as top and bottom. We have regular contributors and welcome others to send in opinion pieces.
- We are uncomfortable with polarization and believe those taking part in a public debate or disagreement should stick to what is considered common decency to keep the debate open and honest.
- We are not against the consumption of drugs, but are sad to see how the drug-use of gringos is affecting the Colombian people in such a negative way. We hope for international legislation or whatever solution that will nullify the suffering of Colombians because of the pleasures of others.
- We believe in the principles of a free international market and think foreign investment can help Colombia’s development. However, we do demand the Colombian people to benefit from foreign investment.
- We are sad to see how many Colombian women and girls are subjected to sexual exploitation and hope for a Colombia where the country’s beautiful women or girls are allowed more opportunities to get ahead in life.
- Even though we are fed up with the FARC and the ELN because of their numerous and ongoing violations of human rights, we respect their call for social change and believe that in the end peacetalks between the Colombian State and the rebels are the only solution to the country’s violent conflict. In the end, all forces involved in the conflict, whether legal or illegal, will have to compromise for the sake of peace.
- We understand how some people are pragmatic about the use of paramilitary force to establish order. However, we consider this unlawful use of force and want the security forces to handle public order. Order should be established within the boundaries of law, especially considering the thousands who were killed by unlawful paramilitary force.
Now, let us hear from you