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  • Macri suspends Russia Today from Argentine airwaves.

    Macri suspends Russia Today from Argentine airwaves. | Photo: Russia Today

Published 10 June 2016

Russia Today has been broadcasting in Argentina since an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin was reached in October 2014.

The administration of Mauricio Macri under the Argentine body managing the state media in the country decided Friday to suspend the Russia Today TV channel from broadcasting in the country.

Don't Silence teleSUR!

According to the official statement, the suspension will be effective in 60 days.

Russia Today has been broadcasting in Argentina since an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin was reached in October 2014.

About 34 million people can now watch RT freely on the frequency 2505, representing about 80 percent of Argentina's population.

The notice was delivered as Argentine journalists marched to decry a clampdown on freedom of expression under Macri.

Two days earlier, the right-wing government of Macri made another censorship move when it announced that in 15 days Argentines will no longer enjoy broadcasts from the regional news network, teleSUR, over the government's Open Digital Television.

In March, the head of Media and Public Content Argentina, Hernan Lombardi, said the move to pull out of teleSUR was rooted in Macri's inability to direct the network's editorial line.

teleSUR President Patricia Villegas said teleSUR journalists, not government officials, direct the content of the station and its platforms. Nonetheless, the channel's head offered to discuss the decision openly with Argentine officials.

teleSUR was included in packages of more than 90 cable operators and had agreements with five television stations in different Argentine provinces. Until Feb. 29, 2016, it reached more than 20 million viewers in addition to more than 8 million subscribers.

On the same day as Macri's announcement, thousands of journalists and dozens of media workers' unions protested against massive layoffs in Buenos Aires, calling on the government to prevent the closure of newspapers and television stations.

According to a study conducted by the Buenos Aires Press Union, more than 1,000 media workers have lost their jobs in the city since December 2015, when Macri took power. The Press Workers’ Federation, one of the umbrella unions of media workers, reports that more than 2,500 media employees have lost their jobs across the country over the same period.

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