Mauricio Macri Prepares to Scrap Argentina’s Media Law

December 13, 2015


A demonstrator joins a rally in support of Argentina’s Media Law in 2013. | Photo: EFE

Advocates claim that corporate media have played a part in periods of growing inequality, but Macri plans to repeal a law limiting media conglomeration.

Argentines may soon see the end of a communications law designed to limit the dominance of big media corporations and create space for smaller outlets and alternative voices, Prensa Latina reported Sunday.

Communication Minister Oscar Aguad of Argentina’s newly appointed Cabinet of Ministers said that “the regulation of the Media Law is not going to survive” under the current government, stressing a departure from the policies of the government of former President Cristina Fernandez.

“Media Law under threat.”

“Media will compete freely in the market and we will try to help the smallest,” said Aguad, according to Prensa Latina, adding that the new administration has adopted a policy approach “completely contrary to the previous government.”

The comments come just days after conservative President Mauricio Macri and his new Cabinet of MInisters were sworn in on Thursday, marking the end of a 12-year era of Kirchnerism in the South American country under former presidents Cristina Fernandez and Nestor Kirchner.

According to Aguad, Macri is committed to overturning the Media Law on the basis that it inhibits free-market competition.

In a preliminary move to undermine the law, Macri has already transferred oversight of two state communication bodies, the Federal Administration of Audiovisual Communication Services and the Federal Authority for Information Technology and Communications, from the presidency to the Ministry of Communication under Aguad.

Communication advocates in Argentina claim that corporate media have played a part in historic period of growing inequality in the South American country. Activists have called for mobilizations to defend the law.

In a statement, public media defenders criticized Macri’s plans to repeal the media law as a move to “buy the complicity of corporate media,” Prensa Latina reported.

Critics say that scrapping the Media Law and its limitations on the size of media conglomerates is a direct assault on a democratic commitment to a diversity of voices in the media and will be a death sentence for alternative opinions in the media.

Macri’s opponents say his proposals will turn the country back to 1990s neoliberalism, rolling back the social welfare programs of Cristina Fernandez and her husband Nestor Kirchner, which have benefited poor and working class Argentines. Macri has vowed to remedy the economy by boosting investment and trade.

The Peronist movement that has long fought for social justice in Argentina has been championed by Fernandez and Kirchner now forms the official opposition.

Activists plan to gather on Monday at 6:00 p.m. local time in Buenos Aires in the Plaza de Mayo to protest the planned overhaul of communications law.

Source: teleSUR