Media's criticisms of national oil company prompt Argentine president to call for "ethics law" for journalists

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  • August 13, 2012

By Liliana Honorato

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner proposed an ethics law for journalists during a speech at the energy company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF in Spanish), claiming that the media were "mounting a campaign to tarnish the image" of the recently nationalized business. Kirchner cited recent articles published in the newspaper Clarín for her argument, reported HidrocarburosBolivia.com.

According to reports from Télam, Emol and Clarín, Kirchner said the suggestion "doesn't mean saying nothing, on the contrary, it simply asks if [journalists] receive money from another business or if they have a political objective," and that "journalists should reveal the names of those who pay them," since some journalists "use privileged information to 'damage' the government."

President Kirchner said she has no intention of proposing the bill herself, preferring that media companies develop their own ethics code for journalists, reported the newspaper La Nación.

President Kirchner's government has a tense relationship with the media in Argentina. Critics accuse her administration of being arbitrary and intolerant, punishing media outlets for oppositional views, and muzzling press freedoms in the South American country. One such event recently involved Kirchner blocking an appearance by a Clarín reporter on a government-affiliated news program.

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.