On Tuesday, March 22, cities across Argentina awoke to posters plastered across neighborhoods lambasting journalist Jorge Lanata, according to the newspaper Clarín. The newspaper reported that the posters were found in the capital, Buenos Aires, and the city of Mar de Plata, where the journalist hosts a radio program.
The posters show the journalist's face with the phrase "Cuestión de pe$0$" (A Question of Money) below along with the colors and symbols of two local municipalities, reported the newspaper La Nación.
Opposition politicians and the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA in Spanish) denounced the campaign, reported Clarín. Gerardo Milman, an opposition deputy, blamed the government and compared its treatment of critical journalists to McCarthyism, according to Clarín. Deputy Patricia Bullrich, who represents Buenos Aires in the Chamber of Deputies, called the posters "fascist" and said they "show the intention of imposing one way of thinking."
FOPEA tweeted that it "condemns the posters against the journalist Jorge Lanata," and added that the campaign was "a concrete example of harassment."
According to La Nación, this is not the first time a journalist critical of the Kirchner administration has been harrassed. In recent years, other posters have appeared maligning journalists like Joaquín Morales Solá and Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazú. The president of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo called for a "public trial" of several journalists with suspected ties to the military dictatorship.
Jorge Lanata hosts a program on Radio Mitre, owned by Grupo Clarín. The media conglomerate has been at loggerheads with the administration of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner over the new media law. Besides this most recent harassment, Venezuelan authorities detained Lanata on espionage charges when he tried to leave the country after covering the 2012 presidential election there.
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.