Groups react to court's decision to suspend controversial media law in Argentina

Reactions were swift to the court's decision to suspend controversial articles in Argentina's new Media Law that would have required media giant Grupo Clarín to abandon some of its broadcast licenses last Friday, Dec. 7.

On Friday, the government appealed the decision, according to its official website, reported the news agency AFP. It also presented another appeal in the name of AFSCA, the organization tasked with enforcing the new law, to ratify Dec. 7 as the date the divestment clause in the law would take effect, added the agency.

From the XLIV Mercosur Summit for Heads of States in Brazil, President Cristina Fernández limited her response to say it was "more of the same," according to La Nación. However, the newspaper reported that when the president heard the news she said it was "what Clarín wanted."

The organization Reporters Without Borders called the decision "surprising" because it contradicted the decision of the Supreme Court, which denied a similar petition form the group on Nov. 28. "This dramatic twist does not affect our support for the law, although it could further aggravate the tense atmosphere which, at the end of the day, has adverse effect all journalists and information providers,” the organization said on its website.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA), which sent a delegation to Argentina to "verify [the law] does not restrict freedom of expression and press in the country," met with legislators and press representatives in the National Congress, reported the website Hoy. Some senators told IAPA that "Argentina is walking a dangerous path toward State control of the media," the website added.

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.