Argentina II

WHEREAS acts of harassment of independent journalists and news media are being undertaken with sustained virulence with attacks and false accusations on the part of senior officials and discrediting treatment in areas of the professional arena WHEREAS this campaign to discredit the media not aligned with the government in addition uses numerous means, such as the proliferation of defamatory posters on public streets, obstruction in official circles of the distribution of newspapers, administrative and legal prosecution of reporters, editors and publishers, and accusations and systematic campaigns to discredit, carried out by media that answer to those in power WHEREAS the government and its officials have repeatedly stated that the independent media are their “political adversaries,” by affirming that they “were the biggest losers” in past elections WHEREAS government employees have brought pressure to bear on the courts to find in favor of the government in matters such as the Law on Audiovisual Communication Services, which is currently partially suspended for being contrary to constitutional principles WHEREAS from the government sector there has been a multiplication of pressure being applied by courts and administrative harassment of Papel Prensa, the company that supplies newsprint to the majority of newspapers in the country, with the aim of taking it over WHEREAS there continues to be excessive growth in the number of government and pro-government media in Argentina, buoyed by an enormous amount of public funds and other kinds of advantages and administrative actions, whether through the editorial realignment of existing media or the creation of new ones of different kinds, to the point that today they amount to a clear majority on the Argentine scene WHEREAS Principle 5 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states that “Prior censorship, restrictions on the circulation of the media or dissemination of their reports, forced publication of information, the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of news, and restrictions on the activities and movements of journalists directly contradict freedom of the press” THE 67 IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES to urge the government to forge its relationship with the independent media within the framework of a desirable democratic co-existence, with respect for the constitutional role of the press and equal treatment, without discriminating or stigmatizing editors, publishers and reporters for media’s editorial stance. to ask the government to put an end to the increasing number of attacks on critical media, which far from lessening continue to add new ones without interruption to call on the executive branch to cease putting pressure on the judiciary in matters related to news media activity, which would be contrary to the division of powers and put at risk the role of the judicial branch as guarantor of constitutional rights to urge the government to put an end to the administrative harassment of the Papel Prensa company which hampers its normal operations to ask the National Congress to prevent government intervention in the production and sale of newsprint so that it does not become a point of pressure on the free practice of journalism, thus maintaining the policy of free enterprise that has existed for many years in the country to call the attention of society on the process of “media expansion” that has been developing on the part of the government through the use of numerous state resources and other tools, trying to monopolize the channels of access to information.