WHEREAS the National Congress recently passed the Law on Audiovisual Services WHEREAS this is a development that affects the audiovisual media’s freedom of expression, in that it gives the government of the day great discretionary powers to grant and revoke licenses and impose fines, enabling indirect editorial control WHEREAS this affects the media’s freedom of programming and alters the prohibition of prior censorship, in establishing regulations on content and limiting the free creation of audiovisual content, even when this is not used in the frequency spectrum WHEREAS the law does not comply with various recognized international standards regarding audiovisual material, in setting arbitrary limits for the broadcast of television signals and incompatibilities between market services or quotas that are not based on reasonable criteria WHEREAS the law shows a clear discrimination against privately-owned media by limiting their reach and prohibiting the formation of networks or chains, while the state-owned media are not subject to such restrictions WHEREAS the law encourages a fragmentation of the privately-owned media’s space, without regard to sustainability, which will make them more vulnerable and dependent on official resources or those of outside interests WHEREAS the law contains retroactive provisions which ignore current and duly granted licenses, violating the legally-binding acquired rights of broadcasters WHEREAS the wording undermines basic constitutional principles, such as freedom of expression, federalism and the right to ownership, as well as international principles of Human Rights, such as those expressed in Article 13 of the American Convention, which prohibits restriction of freedom of expression by direct or indirect means and abuse of official controls of broadcast frequencies WHEREAS the process in which the law was passed raises serious questions regarding official pressures for rapid passage without substantial changes, the hurried debate in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate, the limited and biased consultations, and legislative action despite denunciations of irregularities in both legislative houses WHEREAS the law was sponsored by the government amid a climate of hostility toward the news media WHEREAS Article 7 of the Declaration of Chaputepec 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 IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES to express its concern at the negative consequences that the passed law will have for the freedom, diversity and sustainability of the country’s current media to ask the Argentine Congress, whose makeup is to be renewed on December 10, to revise the approved wording so that the law that regulates audiovisual communication services be one that is based on reasonable criteria and in accordance with international norms that exist concerning regulation of audiovisual services to ask the corresponding institutions to see that the competent authorities ensure that the fundamental principles that the law would undermine are preserved, in particular those linked to freedom of expression and other constitutional guarantees.