URUGUAY There has been no significant event in Uruguay in the past 12 months restricting press freedom and press activity. The media continue to relay news and opinion without hindrance, as has been the case for several years. There was, though, one incident that could be seen as posing a threat to that freedom, specifically to the electronic media. It involves the cancellation of a radio operator's frequency allocation by administrative order from the presidency in late August. The action carne afier on-air coverage of a rally in protest at the extradition to Spain of three Basques, believed to be members of the separtist organization ETA. One person was killed and 80 injured when leftist demonstrators c1ashed with police. For days on end before the demonstration, Uruguay's Tupamaros National Liberation Movementmade up of former guerrillas now operating legally - in broadcasts on ex 44 Radio Panamericana had been calling for a public show of opposition to the extradition. The government said the tone of the harangues amounted to an incitement to violence. The presidency acted against the station, however, without recourse to the courts - which would have implied its reaffirmation of the guarantees under the law. Cancellation of the station's frequncy allocation was seen as tantamount to c1osure. As justification for its action, the government alleged there were administrative irregularities at the station dating back 10 years, but named no names. The National Association of Uruguayan Broadcasters reacted by passing a resolution expressing its concern at the government procedure. But it also criticized the content of the broadcasts. The radio station appealed the cancellation and meanwhile remains off the air. Sorne of the lawsuits involving charges against the media have not prospered or else they ended up with rulings in in the media's favor, thus uholding freedom of the press. But concern remains because other suits have resulted in rulings, opinions or interpretations by the courts that have indeed the effect of restricting free expression. A number of tax burdens for the media, such as taxes on certain types of paper and supplies, remain in force in Uruguay. Another problem is the big gap in government agencies' collections and payments schedules. Also unchanged is the situation regarding placement of official advertising. This is an important issue, since the government is the biggest advertiser in Uruguay. The many autonomous government agencies and even central government offices discriminate in such placement by favoring sorne media over others, rather than making their decisions on a consistent technical basis. Most pending bilis in Congress that would clamp restrictions or controls on the media are virtually moribundo But early in October a law was passed under which a National Music Fund will be set up and government agencies will be required, in contracting for advertising on radio stations, to give preference to those that devote at least 20 per cent of air time to local music. The law does not take into account the demographics of the stations' listening audiences. Uruguay law provides for the right of reply in cases of "inaccurate or offensive" news reports. There is no obligatory colegio membership for joumalists or other requirements that would limit the free practice of joumalism. Similarly, newspapers may be freely distributed.