CHILE The most significant event in the past six months has been the kidnapping of Cristian Edwards, manager of regional newspapers for the El Mercurio group, on September 9. The only news about him to emerge was a note from what purported to be his abductors. For two weeks after the abduction, a Santiago judge, at the request of the government, ordered a news blackout. Media throughout the country observed the order. Practically all representatives of the community, including the Chilean presidency and the National Newspaper Association, expressed their concern and offered solidarity with El Mercurio editor and publisher Agustin Edwards, Cristian's father, and his family. Chilean journalists fear the kidnapping, especially if it is followed by further such incidents, could seriously damage press freedom now prevailing in Chile. The concern was heightened by an attack by a members of a hitherto unknown terrorist group on the offices of Spanish news agency EFE. Legislation restricting press freedom meanwhile was repealed by the legislature at the initiative of the presidency. But the government has filed a libel suit against the magazine Punta Final, for alleged offenses against national symbols and General Augusto Pinochet. A congreSSional commission began an in-depth review of legislation concerning the press, and plans to seek amendment in the next legislative session. It would guarantee free access to sources and the right to professional confidentiality, replace some jail sentences with other punitive action, provide for speedy legal process and raise maximum fines. Disagreement arose in the commission between the National Press Association and the Journalists Colegio over the practice of journalism. The Colegio insists on the general requirement for a university degree, with some exceptions. The National Press Association sees this as a restriction of freedom of information and, as such, unconstitutional. Two differing proposals for amendment of the existing legislation have resulted. The Media Federation has decided to create an Ethics Council for its membership, which includes the print media, television and radio. The Council would rule on issues arising from actions by the media, rather than those of individual journalists.