U.S. government expresses concern about press situation in Argentina

The United States government expressed concern about the press situation in Argentina during a conference about freedom of expression in the world on Wednesday, April 18, reported the newspaper La Razón.

We are concerned for there to be freedom of press, for many points of view be presented to the public, and for the press to have the ability to openly and independently speak about daily topics,” said Michael Posner, the U.S. undersecretary for Human Rights and Democracy, reported the newspaper Clarín.

Posner said that he was aware of the problems between the Argentine government of President Cristina Kirchner and the press, especially with the newspaper Clarín, said the newspaper La Nación. This was the first time that a public official of such high status in the state department has discussed the situation of the press with Argentine public officials, added La Nación.

The government of Kirchner has been constantly criticized for not having good relations with the press. In particular, the government has proposed ways to regulate newspaper businesses. At the end of March, the Argentine Association of Journalistic Entities expressed concern for the Argentine press situation saying that all though freedom of expression exists in the country, "it develops in a context of little tolerance for criticism. Monologues, verbal aggression, and fear proliferate."