CHILE The Chilean press operates in a dimate of freedom, in which the greatest threat to press freedom - restrictive legislation - has diminished with the government having watered down the most restrictive artides in a bill under debate. The change of presidents in Chile at the beginning of the year produced a standstill in the development of legislation "on freedom of opinion and information and the practice of journalism." The legislation proposed by the outgoing administration of Patricio Aylwin provoked considerable concerno It would counter freedom of expression by seeking to allow only university graduates to be journalists and to introduce a so-called conscience dause. Incoming President Eduardo Frei and his advisors did not feel comfortable with these proposals, and sought to forge an agreement on press freedom between the journalists Colegio and the Media Federation. Gn August 28, an agreement was reached among the government, the Colegio and media owners to modify the bill, particularly concerning the issue of who may work as a journalist. The agreement was to make the possession of a degree "preferable" rather than obligatory. Gther agreed-upon dauses attempt to maximize the dignity of journalists. In this sense, the agreements to be incorporated into the bill are: • journalists are definied as only those who hold university degrees legally valid in Chile and those persons recognized as journalists under the prior law. Gthers, who pretend to be journalists to take advantage of the privileges of the profession, will be punished under the law. • The media will set up and maintain a registry of non-journalists who, however, engage in reporting in one way or another on a full- or part-time basis, and will provide them with a corresponding credentia!. Failure to register them will be subject to penalty. • The right to professional confidentiality will be recognized for reporters, editors, managing editors, editors-in-chief, heads of news agencies, cameramen, other camera crew, photographers and media attorneys. There was no agreement on the conscience dause; the bill maintalns its original wording, thus continues to be a threat to press freedom. Despite these agreements, there is no assurance that the legislature, where the bill currently is, will not restore the concept of "exdusivity" contained in the original proposa!. Indeed, sorne right-wing legislators believe the amendments raise constitutional issues that will ultimately have to be resolved by the Constitutional Court. The chronology of the major events affecting the media and journalists in Chile is as follows: In March, the Second Criminal Court in Quillota prohibited media from reporting on a bank branch robbery . Gn May 15, the Santiago Criminal Court prohibited media from reporting on a trial concerning corruption of minors and abuse. From May 2 to 6, during the UNESCG Development of the Media and Democracy seminar in Santiago, the Chilean public was exposed to a series of concepts that make up the foundation of freedom of the press. Especially important was the rejection of the concept of "exclusivity" to work in the media. Gn May 4, a high-level lAPA mission led by President Raúl Kraiselburd met with Chilean President Eduardo Frei in the Palacio de la Moneda. The Dedaration of Chapultepec was officially presented to him and he was asked to sign it. However, because of the current debate in the legislature, he did not do so immediately. Although no date has been set for him to sign, the unofficial word is that he does intend to do so. In August, there was a new court gag order, this time involving a murder case. On August 28, the government announced it was introducing three amendments to the press law, to Artides 4, 5 and 7, as a resuIt of the agreement between the Media Federation and the journalists Colegio. The basis of this agreement is to do away with the concept of "exdusivity" in the practice of journalism, relegating it to a "preference."