President of Argentina says there is no "independent and objective press" in her country

During an address to students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner told the audience "there is no independent and objective press" in Argentina, according to Multimedios Prisma. The president's comments came in response to a student who asked why she was willing to speak to students but not the press in her own country.

During her second, current term as president, Cristina Fernández has not held press conferences. Instead, she has appeared on national television programs but will not take questions, reported the website El Observador. The president retorted in her remarks at Georgetown University that she engages with the press daily but "what happens in Argentina is that not speaking with the press is to say you don't say what they want to hear," according to the website.

The Argentine president continued her offensive against journalists, criticizing their' behavior, accusing reporters of "kicking doors" and "yelling when they don't like the [official's] response," reported the newspaper La Nación. According to the newspaper, Fernández said that the "duty of the president is not to answer [questions] or offer press conferences."

Before the remarks, accredited journalists at the Casa Rosada, the seat of government, released a statement belying the president and noting that Fernández has not held a press conference since Aug. 15, 2011, reported the news agency OPI. "We reiterate our concern over the lack of information about the presidential agenda and we demand she re-open access to the House of Government," read the agency's statement.

Various opposition members rejected the president's comments, accusing her of lying to the students and insulting journalism, reported the newspaper El Tribuno. One critic included Deputy Gerardo Milman who said the president "only speaks through official channels, chaining the citizens and avoiding press conferences and answering reporters' questions," added the 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.