ARGENTINA There is freedom of the press in Argentina, despite tendencies in certain government agencies - national and provincial - to try to control the flow of information. There is a growing inclination to blame the media for the errors, excesses or lack of prudence of public figures. Refusal to accept the contents of a taped conversation between a journalist and National Deputy Angel Luque had major repercussions. The conversation related to the highly publicized murder of Maria Soledad Morales. However, the deputy himself later acknowledged the accuracy of the recording. There were complaints of more physical attacks and serious threats against journalists. In Catamarca province, the state attorney filed in court records showing payments for advertising in the electoral campaign of the then provincial governor were charged directly to the provincial Department of Information. An ad that appeared in the newspaper, La Unión, was broadcast by three Catamarca province radio stations. Later, the stations threatened to stop airing official news until the provincial government paid its" advertising bills." The head of the state Department of Information, Sergio Ribocco, said that "federal intervention will not trade official advertising placement for favorable treatment by the press ... I do not accept coercive practices nor methods ... , actions detrimental to press freedom and open to manipulation." A photographer for the daily Clarin of Buenos Aires while on duty was chased by a mounted policeman into the newspaper's building, riding his horse up the stairs to the first floor, where he beat the newsman into unconsciousness. The photographer recovered, but the horse died of a heart attack while still in the building. In Catamarca, the editor of the newspaper El Ancasti was attacked by the former deputy chief of the provincial police. Journalists from the Buenos Aires daily Clarin and from a television station were threatened. The newspapers La Calle of Avellaneda and El Candil of Baradero were subjected to violations and harassment. A reporter and the editor of the daily La Reforma of General Pico, La Pampa province, were sentenced by a court. Government officials have carried out searches of the dailies La Capital of Rosario and Ambito Finandero of Buenos Aires. Judge Ventimiglia, hearing the case of Maria Soledad Morales, ordered a search of the newspaper Córdoba in Córdoba province and seizure of an edition of the paper. This was seen as a case of prior censorship, and thus contravening Article 14 of the Argentine Constitution. In the legislative arena, the second part of Article 5 of a bill on broadcasting introduced by the executive branch would empower the presidency to clamp restrictions on the media in cases of social unrest. In Argentina, this currently only applies when a state of siege is declared. The state telecommunications monopoly has been privatized. This could affect press freedom in that the new companies have declared their intention to offer news services using the telecommunications network they exploit as a monopoly. Import duties are still applied to equjipment not produced in the country that are essential for newspapers and other publications to modernize. An 11 per cent duty on light coated stock used to print magazines - not manufactured locally - remains in effect. To be imported, this paper must bear a watermark, which further increases its cost. Senator Jose Antonio Romero Feris and national Deputy Fescina have introduced draft legislation that would give journalists free access to news sources and recognize their right to professional confidentiality. The two bills are currently working their way through the legislature. Papel Prensa, whose stockholders are the Buenos Aires dally newspapers Clarln and La Nación and the government, continues to discriminate in the sale and delivery of newsprint.