Argentina needs transparency laws to replace ineffective public information tools, journalist says

By Travis Knoll

Journalist Juan Carlos Simo, member of the Argentine Journalism Forum (Fopea), sat down with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and talked about transparency in his country and other issues during the 11th annual Austin Forum, hosted at the University of Texas at Austin. The Forum focused on access to public information this year.

During a panel on Nov. 9, Simo addressed the difficulties that arise from not having national transparency laws in Argentina. The country has a decree that asserts access to information as a fundamental right but journalists rarely invoke it and consider it a largely ineffective tool. Simo also criticized the many laws at provincial levels that impede access to information.

Simo said that the narrative focus on the conflicts between the government and large media companies has drawn away attention from many important investigative stories on issues ranging from allegations of money laundering by Argentina’s vice president to healthcare and medical fraud.

But despite this, Simo said he believes that good journalism will come with political stability.

Click below to see a brief video interview in Spanish with Simo:

Foro de Austin 2013: Entrevista com Juan Carlos Simo, miembro del Foro de Periodismo Argentino from Knight Center on Vimeo.

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.

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