ECUADOR Authorities have been exerting pressure on the media. During the last months of his administration, former president Duran Ballen complained repeatedly and forcefully about allegations concerning public works having been carried out to benefit his supporters. When the government of Abdala Bucaram took office August 10, it soon began treating the press offhandedly. Reporters were herded out of the Palace of Government and continue to face difficulties in obtaining access to public officials. Reports by Diario HOY concerning the construction of an airport in the city of Bahia brought official accusations of sensationalism and superficiality. The newspaper reported that the airport construction had increased the value of land belonging to top officials in the previous administration. President Bucaram's press secretary, Fernando Artieda, tried to oust journalists from their traditional spots in the Palace of Government. This action, which took place two days after the new president took office, was reversed shortly thereafter. In general, reporters have more difficulty in obtaining access to the president and his cabinet than in previous administrations. On several occasions, top government officials have not showed up for live talk show broadcasts after they have agreed to appear. Journalists consider this a subtle pressure to keep them from asking difficult questions and expressing comments that might not be agreeable to the government. The legal context regulating journalistic activity has not changed. A right of reply and licensing of journalists remain on the books. However, the lack of enabling legislation on the former and legal questions on the latter have served to keep press freedom in these areas.