Argentina I

WHEREAS official advertising continues to be distributed without objective, technical, and reasonable criteria, and without control of any nature, and utilized as a tool to award or punish the media; WHEREAS in a recent ruling in a case brought by the Editorial Perfil publishing company the Supreme Court ordered the Executive Branch not to discriminate and to apply criteria of reasonableness to attain balanced placement of official advertising among the different media, without exclusions or favoritism; WHEREAS the assignment of radio and television frequencies by the state is done in an arbitrary way and following political criteria; WHEREAS principle 6 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states that “the media and journalists should neither be discriminated against nor favored because of what they write or say”; THE IAPA MIDYEAR MEETING RESOLVES: to urge the Argentine government to cease the openly discriminatory and arbitrary placement of official advertising in the nation’s news media; to ask the Executive Branch to respect the ruling made by the Argentine Supreme Court which establishes reasonable distribution of official advertising as a guarantee of freedom of expression; to call upon the Legislative Branch, as a matter of urgency, to develop rules for the placement of official advertising in the news media, in line with technical criteria; to ask the authorities to cease the arbitrary, interventionist and discriminatory practices engaged in within the framework of application of the so-called Law on Audiovisual Communication Services; to request of the Argentina Congress a reform of the law in order to guarantee protection of constitutional rights.