Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos asked journalists for more objectivity during an annual press award ceremony in Bogota on Tuesday.
The president emphasized the importance of the media as a watchdog of society, but also reminded journalists of their social responsibility and asked them to keep an objective perspective in their work.
Santos said, that as watchdog of society the media should “bark and bite if something is happening,” and also “not ignore the bad things or not report them.”
“The role of the press, rather than praising the leader of the moment, is to be the cold shower that wakes him up, it makes him look where is necessary, it makes him respond and points out what is wrong, what might have been overlooked in that loneliness of power,” said Santos.
At the same time he stated that journalists should not forget about the good things that are happening, because as he said: “Good things are also news!”
“There is also an other side, that of good things happening — that are happening constantly — and often, in the effort of being independent or in the rush for a scoop, or to increase ratings … the press leaves them unnoticed,” the president said.
Santos, before becoming president, was a journalist for newspaper El Tiempo, which long was owned by the Santos family.
- Palabras del Presidente Juan Manuel Santos en la ceremonia de entrega de la 38ª versión del Premio Nacional de Periodismo Simón Bolívar (President’s Office)