Deadline for Argentina’s media
BUENOS AIRES - The Associated Press
Thousands of Argentinians participate in a rally against the government in Buenos Aires. An opposition media group has been given a deadline to sell off its stations.Argentina’s government gave one of its leading media critics, Grupo Clarin, a deadline to sell off most of its broadcast stations, saying Dec. 7 will mark the day when media monopolies will no longer be able to put themselves above the law.
Clarin, a bitter opponent of President Cristina Fernandez, which owns 240 cable systems, 10 radio stations and four TV channels in addition to its flagship daily newspaper, has challenged the 2009 media law’s anti-monopoly clauses limiting the number of stations any one company can own as unconstitutional. In a lengthy TV spot that began airing during Sept. 22’s much-watched football games, the government called the deadline date “7D” and said it would bring “diversity and democracy” to Argentina’s media. It announced that it will immediately put Grupo Clarin’s cable TV stations up for public auction on that date if Clarin hasn’t already complied with the law.
Clarin immediately countered with its own TV spot, accusing the government of attempting an illegal maneuver and citing the same media law as giving companies a year to sell off properties in an orderly fashion. “What’s this ’official story’ trying to accomplish? To lay the groundwork for something else? To bring an end to the rule of law in Argentina?” the spot concluded.