This year will be remembered as a most complex and tense period for the media because their task of informing and analyzing has not been respected. Officialdom has chosen to question them, disaccredit them, and deprive them of credibility. Every day a new confrontation occurs between the government and some group of media companies, and such occurrences have defined the agenda that runs throughout journalistic activities in Argentina today. Reports, facts, and opinions filtered through intolerance and confrontation have come to the point of inundating everyday life. The clash has produced episodes each time more confrontational, such as enforcement of the media law passed in 2009 and the official prohibition against Fibertel in offering Internet services within the scope of Cablevision. In addition, there was the dispute over Papel Prensa, the strategic newsprint producer. This scenario was escalated even further by the threats to incarcerate Bartolomé Mitre, director of La Nación, and Héctor Magneto of Clarín for supposed misdeeds, initially identified by the government as crimes against humanity, for their purchase of stock in Papel Prensa. Finally, culminating a difficult year for the media, a bill of law was approved by five committees of the Chamber of Deputies declaring the production and marketing of newsprint to be in the public interest. Enforcement of the media law passed in 2009, which proposed a reordering of content and licenses for radio and television stations. The matter was challenged in court on a number of points by different news companies, points that they consider abusive and unconstitutional. Other entities, such as consumer¬-protection organizations and television channels also entered joined the challenge. After going through several levels of the justice system, the law is now almost completely operational. The enforcement authority has been put in place and its enabling regulations have been issued by decree. But the most controversial chapter has to do with ownership of licenses, for which article 161 of the new law provides one year for the divestment, that is, time for the owners to sell any licenses they hold which are in excess of the number permitted by law. This article was taken to court by the Clarín group, among others, which challenged the constitutionality of the law and sought a court order preventing the expiration of the time periods set in the law. While the suit as a whole is being reviewed, issuance of an injunction was accepted by courts at the first and second levels, and upheld by the Supreme Court. Its decision was to validate the complaint of the companies against the government’s position, which was to accelerate enforcement of the law without delay. In its resolution, the Court validated suspension of the article, but it also urged maximum haste in evaluating the issues that lie at the basis of the challenge. Before the decision of the highest court was issued, groups aligned with the government organized a demonstration at the doors of the courthouse in an attempt to pressure it. That was where a phrase was pronounced that reached beyond the borders of the country: Hebe de Bonafini, president of the organization Mothers of May Square, called for “taking the courthouse by assault,” a threat that was not adequately repudiated by government officials During this period the operating license of Fibertel was suspended, a company belonging to the Clarín group. The event was seen as a new chapter in the offensive maintained by the government against this business group. It occurred when the Secretary of Communications revoked Fibertel’s license to operate under the allegation that the Internet provider had been absorbed by the company Cablevisión, also part of the Clarín group, though that merger had not been approved. The Clarín group responded, considering that the license is fully in force and is recognized by the state. They called this episode a new phase in the attempt to control freedom of expression. At any rate, the measure has now been suspended by a judicial decision in favor of consumer rights. An governmental attempt was also frustrated when officials tried to reorder the line-up of cable channels, replacing the current one with another, more favorable to stations close to the government. The question of newsprint also became another element of the conflict. As a basic supply for the press and for freedom of expression, its control is strategic. The government reiterated its intention to take to court the sale of the company Papel Prensa by the Graiver group to a consortium of newspapers made up of Clarín, La Nación and La Razón, in November, 1976. On national television, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner released a report on what she considered to be an appropriation of the company on the part of the three newspapers, supported by the dictatorship of the time. She said that Lidia Papaleo, widow of David Graiver, who had died a few months before in a suspicious airplane accident in Mexico was “on probation” when she signed the transfer of the shares and she suggested a court order to investigate the directors of the newspapers at that time for the presumed commission of crimes, supposedly the purchase of those shares. The accused newspapers responded, denying the allegations and stating the sale had been a consequence of a decision taken by the Graiver group, which was going through financial difficulties following the death of its director. It was also being investigated for handling funds from the subversive Montoneros organization originating from kidnappings. As support, they offered documents and statements, including those of Isidoro Graiver, David’s brother, who assured that there had been no pressure or torture, but simply a need for financial liquidity. From that moment on, a real battle ensued over things that happened thirty-four years ago, encouraged by the disruptive participation of the Secretary of Internal Trade in meetings of the board of directors of Papel Prensa, which impacted public opinion and promoted diverse positions on the part of associations and political parties. The federal government holds a 27 per cent share of that company. In addition to the accusations in court, during her nationally televised presentation, the President also made the announcement of the proposal in Congress of a bill to declare the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of newsprint to be in the public interest. Almost at the same time a similar bill, submitted by a different political party, was approved by a joint session of five committees in the Chamber of Deputies and it went on to the entire Chamber for approval or rejection. If it were to become law, it would constitute direct interference by the national government in the production of newsprint. A government commission would be formed to control the sale of paper. There would be an official registry of newspaper circulation, and a prohibition would go into effect against the holding of shares in paper producers, such as Papel Prensa, by print media companies, either national or foreign, that hold more than ten per cent of the shares of their media companies. Reactions were immediate. The President of the IAPA, Alejandro Aguirre, stated that it is lamentable to see the recurrence of old tactics using paper to pressure and indirectly muzzle critical and independent voices. The Argentine Association of Journalistic Entities (ADEPA) indicated that the bills violate the prohibition against proclaiming laws that restrict freedom of the press or that establish federal jurisdiction over it. It argued that “logically, the government proposal is flawed by an insurmountable contradiction. By putting mechanisms of implicit control in the hands of the government in its role as a supplier of paper to the print media, the proper functions of democratic institutions are reversed.” The group argues that today the media have a fluid supply of paper, both national and from abroad, which guarantees their operations. Various members of the Association of Newspapers from the Interior of the Argentine Republic (ADIRA) appeared at public hearings testifying on how market forces in the supply of paper have impacted them throughout their history. ADIRA brought up the creation by decree-law forty years ago of the Fund for Development of the Production of Newsprint and Cellulose, to which it estimated that the newspapers from the interior had contributed the sum of 70 million dollars over ten years “on the understanding that the plant for which this money was intended would prove to be a satisfactory source of supply for them…. That was not to be the case,” it concluded, “and the newspapers from the interior, in spite of their great efforts, have always lacked decision-making power.” The organization further indicated “that an initiative that assures pluralism throughout our territory is irreproachable,” and asked that a representative of the interior newspapers that are members of ADIRA be allowed to participate in the distribution of newsprint produced by the company. Its position concerns only the distribution of paper, but it does not accept participation of the state in production or management of the company Papel Prensa. ADIRA also spoke out about what it considers to be another imperative: avoiding limits and tariffs on the importation of paper. Also during this period there was an increase in funds allotted for official advertising, which reached a record figure, increased by the program Soccer for Everybody in which the government invested 600 million pesos in the broadcast of sporting events, plus another 300 million in the production of those events. In this same framework, a continuing worry is the growth of media companies related to the government, provided with discretionary aid through official advertising. The appearance of Twitter as a communications tool throughout the world has brought about a change in the paradigms of circulation of information and opinions. But in this country, far from producing these benefits for the task of reporting, it has been converted into a channel that deepens discord. High-level officials of the government have opened official accounts on those sites and they even have communication infrastructures to manage them, but they do not use language in accord with their government role, rather engaging in marginal arguments, or employing tones that run far afield from their positions of authority for affairs of state. Nonetheless, the communications media have not been distracted from their mission of defending freedom of expression and promoting a climate that fosters the harmonious development of a society in conflict and its co-existence with an independent press.