73% of Argentine journalists support controversial media law, survey finds

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  • February 17, 2011

By Ingrid Bachmann

A new poll of Argentine journalists by Ibarómetro shows that 80 percent of those surveyed believe “there is freedom of expression” in the country, the state-run news agency Télam reports. 73 percent say they support a controversial media law that has stoked ongoing tensions and legal conflicts between the government and the country’s largest media companies.

According to El Vigia, 240 of the 2,000 journalists who were sent the survey responded. Many of those who responded had harsh words for the state of Argentine journalism, calling it mediocre and ideological. This echoes the words of Buenos Aires Herald columnist Robert Cox, who says the media-government conflict put “journalists…at war with each other.”

The Audiovisual Media Law, approved in October 2009, divides broadcast frequency concessions between the private sector, the state, and civil society groups. It also limits the number of radio and TV licenses one owner can hold, a rule that is opposed by several media companies. However, the bill is supported by various sectors of the citizenry.

The Argentine law is one of many recent bills that have promoted opposition from activists and media companies, including examples in BoliviaBrazilEcuador, and Venezuela.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.