Government advertising

WHEREAS in Argentina an appeals court ordered on February 11 that the national government restore official advertising to the daily Perfil, which had been discriminated against because of its editorial line; an earlier decision by the Supreme Court in June 2007 criticized the government of Neuquén for withdrawing government advertising from the daily Río Negro; and the Supreme Court also ordered the government of La Pampa to restore advertising to a group of radio stations that were excluded arbitrarily WHEREAS Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa issued veiled threats against the independent newspaper El Universo when he publicly questioned whether government advertising should be placed in the paper WHEREAS the Guatemalan government, citing budget problems, suspended government advertising in an apparent attitude of discrimination against independent media outlets, especially the written ones WHEREAS the Honduran government is threatening to withdraw official advertising, principally from media companies that are critical of it WHEREAS in Mexico, local and state governments apply discriminatory policies in placement of advertising as a reprisal against publications that criticize their actions WHEREAS in Nicaragua, the government has concentrated its advertising in communications media that support its policies and uses official advertising to punish critical media outlets WHEREAS in Uruguay the government continues its policy of rewarding compliant media outlets with advertising WHEREAS Principle 7 of the Declaration of Chapultepec says, “Tariff and exchange policies, licenses for the importation of paper or news-gathering equipment, the assigning of radio and television frequencies and the granting or withdrawal of government advertising may not be used to reward or punish the media or individual journalists” THE MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to express its satisfaction about the decision of the appeals court in Argentina in accordance with case law set by the Supreme Court prohibiting governments from discriminating in the placement of advertising to urge the Guatemalan government to consider carefully its decision to suspend advertising and to adjust its budget in order to reduce and distribute government advertising in the media based on fair criteria rather than discriminatory decisions to stop the use and manipulation of advertising as an instrument of punishment by the government of Honduras to reiterate to the local and state governments in Mexico that they must stop using placement of advertising as an instrument of coercion or benefit for media companies and journalists to reject the selective and discriminatory policy of using government advertising as a method of punishment or reward in Nicaragua to urge the government of Uruguay to stop the practice of favoritism to benefit media outlets that support it to the detriment of independent and critical ones to reiterate to governments that carry out discriminatory policies that they should promote regulations for the fair distribution of advertising based on technical criteria so it will not be used as a way to coerce or benefit the media and journalists.