The press is slowly recovering from the major crisis that caused an alarming drop in circulation and paid advertising, and devaluation that drove costs sharply higher. Additionally, the administrations that have governed the country since 2001 adopted measures that not only did nothing to alleviate these problems, but instead imposed ever more severe conditions and increased the already-crushing tax burden. Unfortunately, urgently-needed solutions to these problems are nowhere on the horizon, mainly because of the utter absence of any sort of dialogue with the national government, as was recently reported by the Argentine press. The closed-mindedness of President Néstor Kirchner’s administration is such that one document warned of “absolute official deafness” to complaints and criticisms related to the full exercise of freedom of the press. At the time of the meeting in Los Cabos, there were no reports of pressure against the media or individual journalists, except for a few articles in Noticias magazine about the government pressuring journalists. Then a detailed report was released, based on a private audit of government advertising, showing that the government placed more paid advertising space in certain media outlets with the aim of inducing softer or completely non-critical coverage of the Administration. In the time that has elapsed since then, we feel that the situation has become tenser than usual. There is talk in journalistic circles of excessive zealousness by members of the administration of President Néstor Kirchner regarding what the media broadcast or publish. Although no concrete complaints have been filed, this is becoming a frequent topic of conversation in private, and even in some conference settings. Unfettered access to public information is being debated in the Senate, where a variety of bills are now under consideration in several committees. Senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner —the President’s wife— chairs the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, and has invited the Inter-American Press Association to make its views known. In a meeting between senators and representatives of the Argentine media, certain legislators let slip some comments about the press that verged on defamatory and had to be responded to quickly and energetically. Also noteworthy is the case of La Voz del Interior of Cordoba, which had to appeal to the local courts in order to get access to official information about the quality of the local drinking water. Matters of this sort are the focal point of discussion for Argentine journalists. The Argentine Journalism Forum organized a seminar and debate attended by the Secretary of the Cabinet, Alberto Fernández, and U.S. Ambassador Lino Gutiérrez, where journalists called for detailed clarification of upcoming changes to the government’s plans. For his part, Fernández complained about the “misuse” of a decree establishing access to government information and he even defended the unexplained expenditure of huge amounts of money from the financial reserves. Argentine journalists have expressed open disagreement with some senators who want to broaden the right to access journalists’ data banks and confidential sources, or to information pertaining to the organization and internal workings of the news media. Río Negro newspaper came under assault on several fronts at the instigation of the government of Neuquén Province, in reprisal for the newspaper’s editorial policies. These included legal problems; problems gaining access to information; and a discriminatory reduction of paid advertising. One of the legal assaults was launched by Neuquén’s Minister of Security and Labor, Luis Manganaro, who tried to force the newspaper to reveal its sources of information for reports it had published that involved him. This ignored the right to confidentiality of news sources included in Article 43 of the Argentine Constitution. Eventually, the court shelved the complaint. On the legal front, we deeply regret the decision to reduce the prison sentences of the convicted murderers of news photographer José Luis Cabezas, who was slain in the resort town Pinamar on January 25, 1997. Journalists and broad sectors of society have made known their profound repudiation of this appeals court decision —a decision that caused a widespread sense of injustice and impunity. The Supreme Court ordered Clarín newspaper to pay damages to a married couple it had linked to the sale of babies in several reports published in 1995. Even though the newspaper itself had published a correction the day after the first report appeared, the Court upheld a lower-court ruling. The highest tribunal held that use of a conditional tense was not in itself sufficient to excuse the newspaper from liability. On October 8, 2003, a lower court judge in Río Gallegos, Rosa Núñez, ordered the publishers of Tiempo Sur and El Ciudadano newspapers to pay a fine for violation of Articles 1 and 2 of Federal Law 20,056. The newspapers had carried reports and editorials about a street fight that left one young man gravely wounded, and indicated that investigations of the event were pointing towards police abuse. The courts in Córdoba ruled in favor of the newspaper La Voz del Interior in its demand for access to the minutes of the board meetings of the public utilities regulatory agency ERSEP, as part of the newspaper’s investigation into possible contamination of the local drinking water supply. Civil court Judge Raquel Villagra invoked Law 8,803 governing access to public information and ordered the regulatory agency to pay all court costs. Journalist and businessman Héctor Ricardo García, founder and owner of the Buenos Aires newspaper Crónica, was remanded to custody on charges of alleged tax evasion. National organizations and the IAPA called for respect of due process and asked that any legal proceedings not interfere with the normal functioning of García’s media holdings. In San Luis province, a “printing act” was passed that, had it been enforced, would have meant a serious setback for freedom of the press. This law prohibited minors from engaging in news photography, and it restricted the right of reply to public officials. At the same time, it established a law on press crimes prohibited by the Constitution and rejected in case law. Both chambers of the provincial legislature voted on June 23 to repeal the law. A broadcast of the news program “Telefe Noticias” from San Luis was interrupted on March 10, while the program was reporting on a broad-based protest march against the provincial government’s education policies. During this period, attacks and threats against journalists included acts of assault against Daniel Tognetti and Miriam Lewin from the television news program “Punto doc”; Gustavo Malem, editor of the Infobae newspaper supplement Infocampo; news photographer Rolando Díaz from the Salta newspaper Nuevo Diario; Mariano Martínez, a news photographer for the newspaper El Sol in Quilmes; Gustavo Corvalán, of El Liberal in Santiago del Estero; José María Delloro, a news photographer with the Télam agency; and Marcos Barroca and Sandra Borghi, of TN.