The last six months have not been an untroubled period for the practice of journalism. A series of laws, legal actions, government resolutions, public attitudes and speeches hardly comprised fertile terrain for freedom of expression and dialogue. Press conferences have been dismissed from the Argentine public scene. Officials limit themselves to giving interviews to media supporting the government or making speeches at public events or before journalists who are not allowed to ask questions. As a result of statements by the Chief of Cabinet of Ministers, Juan Manuel Abal Medina, in which he said that officials did not give press conferences or spoke little because they were “working every day to improve the life of the Argentine people,” more than a hundred journalists signed a document that questioned the government communication closure toward the independent press. The responses of the government to many of the journalistic investigations or questionings tend to be an affront, a discrediting or the postulation of conspiratorial theories. Questioning of those in power and accountability thus remain obstructed or distorted. In another issue, enactment of a law on access to public information continues to be an unresolved matter. Added to these restrictions are threats to impose fines, backed by a forced interpretation of the Law on Commercial Loyalty, against financial consultants that publish inflation figures different than those that come from official statistics. Despite the fact that a ruling by the Supreme Court established that official advertising cannot be used in a discriminatory manner, such public funds continue to be distributed arbitrarily. There is no reasonable relationship between the audience levels of the media and the amount of advertising that they get from the government. Argentina’s leading open television channel in 2011 received 0.4% of the total official advertising, while its main competitor obtained a percentage of almost 100 times more. An inland editorial group had an increase of more than 900% between 2010 and 2011 regarding such advertising. In the city of Buenos Aires there were newspapers that in the past year received an increase of between 40% and 270% in placement of official advertising, while the papers with bigger circulation had negative indices. Perfil, Argentina’s third largest circulation newspaper, went from receiving 2.1 million pesos in 2010 to 386,000 in 2011, even though the Supreme Court ruled that it should receive equal treatment in placement of advertising by the government. Added to the discretionary use of official advertising should be the use of public funds in programs with proselytizing ends. Since the nationalization in 2009 of soccer broadcasts it is estimated that some 3 billion pesos have been spent on the program “Fútbol para todos” (Soccer For All). The only advertising that exists in those broadcasts is by the government. In 2012, under a 380 million peso four-year contract a similar nationalization of broadcasts of car races was carried out. In December there was enactment of Law 26,736, which permits regulation of the production, commercialization and importation of newsprint. The law authorizes government intervention, which brings to mind dark precedents for press freedom. The principal guarantee for the supply of this raw material consists of maintaining freedom to import, without quotas, obstacles or duties, as a conditional access to newsprint restricts the role of the press in a democracy. The law establishes that Papel Prensa, the corporation of which the owners are the newspapers Clarín and La Nación and in which the federal government has a minority shareholding, will have to operate to the maximum of its capacity or at the level of domestic demand for newsprint. As the former is less than the latter, the law requires implementation of a plan to cover all domestic consumption. If the government provides funds for this objective, in a percentage proportionately higher with regard to the private sector shareholders, the political rights deriving from that increase will be carried out by a commission coordinated by the Economy Ministry, which will have to be made up of representatives of newspapers in each province and the city of Buenos Aires (excluding those linked to the private sector shareholders), representatives of organizations representing users and consumers, and workers. The entity applying the law will be able to set fines and control the importation of newsprint. The government continues pursuing executives of Clarín and La Nación, Héctor Maguetto and Bartolomé Mitre with accusations of violations of human rights, which have not been able to be proven by the legal system. During the same week that the newsprint law was enacted two developments of concern occurred. The company Cablevisión, which belongs to the Clarín Group, was raided on the orders of an incompetent judge. The newspaper La Nación, for its part, suffered an assets restraining order over a non-payable debt. During those days there was passed the so-called “anti-terrorist” law, which the head of the Financial Information Department considered to be applicable to the media. In inland Argentina two journalists were threatened over the publication of reports on drug trafficking in their cities. Omar Bello, editor of La Verdad in Junín, received threatening messages concerning his published articles. In November the press and electrical system of the newspaper’s print plant were damaged by a fire set by unidentified assailants. For his part, Hernán Lascano, head of the police beat section of the newspaper La Capital in Rosario, in the first months of 2012 received e-mails and an unsigned note in which there was a warning made to his family. Numerous journalists have been attacked in recent months. Jorge Lanata and Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazú were the target of insults and stones hurled during a lecture on the role of the press held on November 3 within the framework of the annual convention of Fopea (Argentine Journalism Forum). On November 4 Luis Kempa and Mario Ruarte, reporters with the newspaper La Voz del Interior and Channel 10 TV, respectively, were physically attacked in the city of Córdoba while covering a march by the Public Employees Union. In January Cristian Acuña, correspondent of La Arena, received a telephoned threat from the wife of the deputy mayor of the town of Victorica and was physically attacked by her son, over reports published in the local newspaper. A team of reporters from CQC (Canal América TV, Buenos Aires) was bodily ejected by officials of the municipality of Pinamar from a square where a public event was being held, while they were seeking to interview the local mayor. President Cristina de Kirchner called journalists Carlos Pagni of La Nación and Osvaldo Pepe of Clarín Nazis and anti-Semites because of opinions against government organizations. In October, there were presidential elections in Argentina and these were made up of a political map with a governing party buoyed by wide popular support and a fragmented and weakened opposition. In such a context press freedom, always essential for republican balance and democratic legitimacy, plays a relevant role.