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25 de May de 2017Which development issues interest journalists?

Editors and reporters from different media and countries debated the issues that interest them the most to explain Latin America. Proposals revolve around key points regarding sustainable development in the region 

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How is Latin America facing its mobility problems, and which measures are having better results? This is the question posed by Gustavo Arias, from the Grupo Nación of Costa Rica during the analysis journalism workshop directed by Michael Reid, Senior Editor of The Economist.

Mobility is one of the key aspects of development in the region, which is one of the most urbanized in the world. The transportation sector represents close to 25 percent of the world demand for energy, a sector that discharges one of the largest amounts of contaminating gasses. It also represents high productivity costs for our countries due to the time invested in moving and the levels of congestion. In fact, shared mobility alternatives are being developed, aimed at reducing these negative indicators.  

There are several aspects related with transportation and, for this reason, it is the object of journalistic analysis that may explain Latin America, particularly its urban environment. Michael Reid adds that the region faces a challenge in coming years: "that middle classes get used to public transportation and stop using cars in the cities". 

Education also calls the attention of journalists. Camilo Sanchez, from Diners magazine of Colombia states, "Higher education systems that are poorly designed are fertile soil for poor quality public institution. The biggest losers are the students, which fail to get jobs in a labor market that is clogged" 

The scenario raised by Sanchez is not new, but it is more complex due to technological transformation: automated jobs have increased in past years and may be found both in agriculture and industry, as well as in the services sector. 

Facing this situation, which encompasses both education and employment, the countries of the region must pay close attention to investment and training in creativity, soft skills, and motor skills, as indicated in the 2016 Economy and Development Report

Institutional strengthening may be added to the list, with a special emphasis on the fight against corruption. The subject, presented as a widespread and common phenomenon, creates concerns regarding the causes of the current situation. Gustavo Cortez, from El Universo, in Ecuador, asks, "Why does Latin America fail"? He states that society has been "permissive and conformist with the deterioration processes, passive when it comes to demand its rights". His analysis is aimed at the "lack of an institutional answer to corruption". 

These statements are the basis of the journalistic analysis exercises that emerged from the Taller Periodismo de Análisis de América Latina (Workshop for Latin American Analysis Journalism). Other subjects considered were access to health, particularly family planning, as well as the political situation of each country which, despite different aspects, has generated comparable social phenomena in different places in the region.  

This workshop was organized by the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation for the New Ibero-American Journalism (FNPI, for its acronym in Spanish), CAF, Development Bank of Lain America, and ProColombia-Marca País. The workshop was headed by Michael Reid, in charge of the Bello column in The Economist, and currently deals with the affairs of the region. 

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