78th General Assembly

October 27 – 30, 2022

Madrid, Spain


This period has been influenced by the constituent process and by the creation of a government commission that seeks to regulate the media and freedom of the press.

President Gabriel Boric announced on June 1 the creation of a special commission called "More breadth, more voices, more democracy" to evaluate the state of the country's media system. The General Secretary of Government signed an agreement with three state universities to provide a public report within six months to "strengthen the guarantees linked to the exercise of journalism and the rights related to communication." The agenda included issues of communication and interculturalism, gender, education and ethics. The "regulation of the media system" and the "definition of the right to freedom of expression and of the press" were also contemplated.

The three universities had already participated in the so-called: "Bloc for the Right to Communication," an initiative that since 2015 brought together academics and some media to propose a new media law that would include a state media system, a new control of pluralism, the regulation of journalistic practice and new powers in terms of content regulation.

The government committee is already working and has held meetings with university researchers and representatives of media workers and editors unions. The National Press Association (ANP), which brings together newspapers and magazines, declined the Government's invitation, stating that it does not correspond to international standards and practices for a ministerial portfolio to lead such an initiative, since it is the government that is the subject of media scrutiny. The ANP warned about the clear intention of using this report to promote regulations that restrict freedom of the press.

A journalist died during coverage. On May 1 - during a Workers' Day demonstration in the Meiggs neighborhood, a commercial sector of the capital, in Santiago - journalist Francisca Sandoval was shot in the head while covering the protest for the community channel TV Señal 3 of La Victoria. Sandoval, 29, died of her injury on 12 May. One person was arrested as the alleged perpetrator of the shooting.

The constitutional reform process culminated on July 4, 2022, and on September 4 a plebiscite was held in which the proposed text was rejected by 61.89% of the citizens.

The constituent process had begun on July 4, 2021. At that time, the Constitutional Convention formed seven commissions, two of which had a direct bearing on the freedom of information: the "Fundamental Rights Commission," whose mission was to define the constitutional status of freedom of expression, and the so-called "Knowledge Commission," which proposed the constitutional regulation of the media.

After the rejection in the plebiscite, the parliamentarians began to negotiate proposals and procedures which will govern the new reform process to begin in 2023.

On September 29, in the context of an investigation into acts of corruption in Carabineros de Chile (Chilean police), the 4th Criminal Court ordered the disclosure of meetings that Televisión Nacional de Chile (state-owned television channel) held with journalistic sources for the broadcast of an investigative report.

The court did not take into consideration that the current legislation prevents such a requirement. In effect, Article 7 of the Press Law (No. 19,733) establishes the "right to maintain the confidentiality of information sources, which shall extend to elements which may allow identification and which may not be forced to be revealed, not even by the courts." The state media opposed the release of the information. If the court order is upheld and the media refuses to deliver the information, it could be held in contempt of court and face an investigation.