Journalists sleep in newsroom to block shutdown of Argentine newspaper

By Maira Magro

Crítica newspaper of Buenos Aires stopped circulating more than a month ago when its 190 employees went on strike April 29 over not receiving their paychecks. Fearing the closure of the paper, the journalists united in a resistance movement, which includes a 24-hour camp-out in the newsroom and demonstrations in the street. (See this vídeo), and campaigns in a blog and on Twitter.

During a Journalist's Day observance on Monday (June 7), they interrupted their strike to publish and distribute a special edition of Crítica, which, in addition to its traditional sections for politics, economics, culture, and international news, carried detailed stories about the struggle to publish the newspaper and its conflicts with the owners. The special edition also featured advertisements and showings of support from artists, academics, politicians, labur unions, and a message criticizing the main shareholder of the company, Spanish businessman Antonio Mata. (See the special edition as a PDF file.)

The cover features the photograph of journalists demonstrating in front of the Government Palace, with the headline: “So that 190 families are not in the street." In the text they argue, "the closure of a newspaper would be bad news for everyone."

Journalists in the leading newsrooms of Argentina have united with their colleagues from Crítica. In this video, journalists from more than 10 newsrooms applaud, on foot, the movement by Crítica's employees. This clip features a show of support by colleagues of Clarín, Argentina's largest newspaper.

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.