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Argentina: The Approval of a New Media Law

Categories: Latin America, Argentina, Law, Media & Journalism, Politics

The Argentinean Senate approved a new law of audiovisual media, which establishes a new series of rules for the regulation of open signal, cable, and satellite television and radio. In addition, it establishes minimum quotas for the airing of local music and films. The previous order that regulated this market since the last Argentinean dictatorship has been revoked.

Photo of gathering of those that support the new media law by Beatrice Murch and used under a Creative Commons license. [1]

Photo of gathering of those that support the new media law by Beatrice Murch and used under a Creative Commons license.

During the debate of the law, there was a lot of controversy going on at the radio and television stations. The main media group in the country, Clarin, which must let go a number of television channels, radio and a percentage of cable subscribers, provided completely negative coverage of the law and other media did the same. However, despite the discussions in the media, there were no massive protests in the streets, which was the scenario that took place during the debate for the raise of agricultural taxes in 2008 [2]. In the end, the government achieved an easy victory in the Senate. After December 10, the Congress will be renewed and the current Executive Branch will lose majority in both chambers of Congress.

At the blog Aristotelizar [es] [3], they focus on the proccess of approval of the law in the Congress:

El tratamiento de la ley de medios arroja nuevas luces sobre el modo de gobernar del matrimonio presidencial que continúa erosionando la ya escasa credibilidad de las instituciones. Esta es una ley arcaica que se nutre del ideario del primer peronismo, a pesar de que el mundo ha cambiado y mucho, desde entonces.

The treatment of the media law shows the way the presidential couple governs the country, which continues to erode the already scarce credibility of institutions. This is an archaic law that nourishes from the first Peronism ideology, despite the fact that the world has changed a lot since then.

At Nanopoder [es] blog, they forecast an extensive series of consequences [4], all bad, of the application of the law. There are also negative views of the new media law (or its treatment in the Congress, at least) at Un Alumno Diferente [es] [5], El Atrilero [es] [6], and El Observatorio Político [es] [7].

On the side of those who see the approval of this law as something positive, Al Centro y Adentro [es] states [8]:

La instalación del debate sobre una nueva ley de medios audiovisuales en el parlamento tuvo otro efecto en la población. Las franjas más progresistas de la población acompañaron, militándolo, el proyecto de ley que envió el Poder Ejecutivo al Legislativo. Esta vez la centroizquierda y casi todo el campo popular apoyaron la iniciativa del Gobierno (…). Las élites dominantes no pudieron imponer sus intereses particulares (…) en contra de la voluntad general.

The installation of the debate about a new audiovisual media law in the Parliament had another effect in the population. The most progressive side of the population supported, actively, the law project sent from the Executive to the Legislative Branch. This time the left center and almost all the popular field supported the initiative of the government (…). The dominant elite could not impose its particular interests (…) against the general will.

More positive texts about this law can be found at Francisco José Bessone's blog [es] [9], Arte y Brujería [es] [10], Sin Zonceras [es] [11], and Fin del Capitalismo ¿Salvaje? [es] [12].

There was a long exchange of opinions at Twitter, which could be followed through the hashtags #leydemedios [es] [13] and #leymedios [es] [14] (media law).