Panoramic view of Filbo 2023 in Bogotá, Colombia.
Last day of Filbo 2023. Photo: @FILBogota.

International Meeting of Journalism in Filbo 2023

The event was organized by Universidad Externado de Colombia.


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As a space to talk about the present and future of the trade, this is how version 14 of this initiative created in 2009 and developed within the framework of the Bogota International Book Fair that closes today was presented.

With the presence of prominent personalities from the industry, such as the Mexican writer Juan Villoro, the chronicler Cristian Valencia and the Spanish journalist Jan Martínez Ahrens, director of El País América, the International Journalism Meeting offered a guided proposal for the implementation of spaces for dialogue and learning for the new generation of journalists.

Martínez Ahrens pointed out at the opening of the Meeting:

The nationality of a medium is made by its readers.

Featured Journalists

The Meeting, which took place both at the Filbo facilities and at the Universidad Externado headquarters, brought together different figures from journalism, among which the following stood out:

National Guests

  • Journalist José Guarnizo (winner of the Simón Bolívar National Journalism Award)
  • Documentary filmmaker and animator Édgar Álvarez
  • Photographer and editor Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo
  • Researcher Maryluz Vallejo
  • Chroniclers José Fernando Hoyos, Cristian Valencia, and Tatiana Escárraga

International Guests

  • Venezuelan chronicler Héctor Torres
  • Venezuelan sociologist Tulio Hernández
  • Famous Mexican journalist and writer Juan Villoro

Dialogue for the Future of Journalism

In a talk with Victoria González, dean of Social Communication-Journalism at Universidad Externado, Martínez Ahrens stressed the importance of having, today, media outlets that speak to global audiences.

"Managing a medium such as El País América does not prevent the public from being aware of the situation in Spain, America, or other countries," said Martínez Ahrens.

Martínez Ahrens, who also served as deputy director of the newspaper El País Spain, highlighted his time as an apprentice to Colombian Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez at the Foundation for the New Ibero-American Journalism, and his journalistic role in information leak scandals, such as ‘wikileaks,’ ‘Chinaleaks,’ and the ‘Guantánamo papers’.

Current Outlook

Faced with the growing universal threat of misinformation, the Spanish journalist called on journalists to remember their main function of working for society, reporting and disseminating current events.

The director of El País América also spoke about how currently the relationship between media and their audiences has weakened, highlighting how, despite living in a more informed society, many people have stopped believing in them.

The pandemic highlighted the absence of the media in the demonstrations unleashed by social discontent, and it worsened when people stopped obtaining first-hand information on the news,” he said.

According to Martínez Ahrens, this situation generated a series of opportunities for alternative media and for citizen journalism, which gave way to content with more emphasis and criticism.

Alternative media create a journalism that is more digested, longer-winded, more calm. They have their space very well earned. We collaborate a lot with them,” added Martínez Ahrens.


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