URUGUAY Since Jorge Batlle took office, positive changes have been seen in government practices for the placement of official advertising, although the amount has been cut back drastically. Negatively, the courts are taking a long time to rule on specific criminal complaints. The advisory opinion on these cases would provide valuable legal data for use in any future cases of the same kind. Uruguay is currently in a deep recession, and the media have been especially hard hit. Some have made the decision to cease or change the frequency of publication, while others are curtailing their budget substantially. Both newspaper owners and journalists belonging to the Uruguayan Press Association (APU) are calling for relief from the heavy tax pressure the sector is under, so the media can survive and grow. Besides higher taxes and reduced advertising revenues, the percentage paid to distributors over the single copy price is higher, and subscriptions are difficult to sell. A report approved by the APU in January also points to encouraging developments for journalism since the new administration was inaugurated in March 2000. The report highlights the need to amend press laws, which conflict with constitutional stipulations of press freedom by providing for severe financial penalties and even imprisonment, while upholding the so-called right of reply.