The Tico Times was recognized last week at an international conference on press freedom for its “Reaching Out” program, which provides the newspaper to Costa Rican high school students learning English.
The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), a press advocacy group that organized the five-day conference in Miami, Florida, gave awards to journalists and newspapers in 11 categories. Reaching Out was a finalist for the “Newspaper in Education Award.” The program recruits Costa Rican businesses to pay to bring copies of The Tico Times to classrooms targeted by the Public Education Ministry for English-language education.
IAPA has more than 1,300 members from North America, South America and the Caribbean.More than 600 people, including Tico Times General Manager Abby Daniell, attended the Oct. 12-16 conference.
They went to meetings and seminars about such issues as online journalism, readership and the newsroom environment. Each country’s representatives also drafted and presented reports about the state of the press in their country. Armando González, editor of the daily La Nación, presented the report for Costa Rica.
“There were no significant developments threatening press freedom during this period, but some issues were resolved in court,” the report found.
Conference attendees also voted on a final document summarizing the state of the press in the Western Hemisphere. They found that “serious obstacles” to press freedom include physical and psychological violence toward journalists, including harassment by the government, in countries such as Mexico, Venezuela and Cuba.
The Tico Times has been a member of IAPA for decades.
The paper also recently became a member of the Press and Freedom of Expression Institute (IPLEX), a Costa Rican organization that promotes freedom of speech.