Thursday, September 17, 2009
Kirchner and the Press
Since democratization in the early 1980s, the relation between the press and the government has been normalized, although the current administration is currently seeking to restrict the rights of the press, which is generating a large and penetrating argument throughout the country. The current president, Cristina Kirchner, introduced a bill to congress about two weeks ago seeking cut media rights, and reinforce government control. This law change would be the first dealing with the media since the arrival of democracy. The law seeks to limit the number of licenses for media outlets a single company can own from the current limit twenty-four, to ten. Oversight for complying with the norms and renewal of licenses would be provided by the government every two years. Opponents of the bill assert that it will convert Argentina’s media into a category similar to those controlled by Chavez in Venezuela.
Clarín, the media company who would lose the largest amount of money and control under the new bill has also been subject to intimidation and raids. However, the media conglomerate has fought back by constantly attacking the proposed law and administration though its newspapers and radio and TV stations. Additionally, Kirchner has proposed decriminalizing libel. Many opponents speculate that this decriminalization would be too perfect for the government to manipulate information after it disbands the private sector media giants.
The following links provide some further information about the reading. Apart from the New York Times article, they are all in Spanish.
The high quality image included in this post is an excerpt from an front page article I scanned from what is probably the country's most prestigious periodical - "La Nación." For those who are Spanish speakers in this class, it should provide more insight on the situation. Because it is not owned by Grupo Clarín, it can also be viewed as slightly less biased, although any large media source is likely to be "Anti-K."