Government Advertising

WHEREAS in recent years there has been an exponential increase in government advertising in Argentina, and its distribution has been more and more arbitrary, so that it is used as a mechanism to subsidize sympathetic media and punish those which are not so inclined. WHEREAS The Supreme Court of Justice of Argentina has ruled that the government cannot arbitrarily exclude a medium from its official list, and distribution of advertising must maintain criteria of reasonableness; nevertheless those decisions are not being respected, thus generating pertinent complaints; WHEREAS the practice of discrimination in awarding official advertising has been seen not only in Argentina, but also in Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, where it is nothing more than misapplication of public monies and an abuse of political power; WHEREAS there are media that accept these irregular, illegitimate practices, thus becoming their accomplices; WHEREAS Principle 6 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: “The media and journalists should neither be discriminated against nor favored because of what they write or say.” THE MIDYEAR MEETING Of THE IAPA RESOLVES to solicit the government of Argentine to comply with the judicial findings and to cease the practices of indirect censorship, carried out by the discriminatory assignment of public funds, the selective and discriminatory application of laws and administrative decisions, or the manipulation of public information; to exhort the national executive power and provincial governors to quit utilizing official advertising as a system of awards and punishments, and to adopt objective and transparent criteria in its assignment, avoiding discrimination against or exclusion of certain media for their editorial position and seeking to comply efficiently and effectively with the constitutional principle of dissemination of the acts of government. to urge the governments of Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to stop using the placement of official advertising in a selective and discriminatory way; to call once again on the governments of the Americas to establish regulations on the application of technical and efficiency criteria to the use of funds for an equitable, fair, and transparent distribution of official advertising.