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News > Argentina

Argentine Public Media's Websites and Social Networks Suspended

  • The sign reads,

    The sign reads, "There is no democracy without public media." | Photo: X/ @eccapecca

Published 21 May 2024
Opinion

The Milei administration "is clearly incompatible with the freedom of expression," former presidential candidate Castañeira said.

On Tuesday, the administration of far-right President Javier Milei temporarily suspended the websites and social media posts of Argentine public media outlets.

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The intervenor of public media, Diego Chaher, stated that only the manager of digital media will handle social media accounts of Public Television and National Radio.

"All types of transmission and/or social media content posting are suspended until the criteria changes are established,” he said.

The measure started at midnight and affected the portal and social media accounts of the Public Television, the National Radio, musical chains FM Clasica and Rock, cultural channel Encuentro, and children's channel Paka Paka.

The text reads, "Hypocritical and malicious messages are generated in the Argentina controlled by Milei and his hegemonic media. The government carries out a campaign of political harassment, persecution, and raids against soup kitchens and social movements, which he accuses of corruption and extortion."

The message appearing on these media outlets' websites is identical to the one published in March on the state-owned agency TELAM, which was shut down by Milei arguing that "it had been used in recent decades as a Kirchnerist propaganda agency."

“With what happened today, the emptying of public media is deepened, a process that began with the measures taken against TELAM,” said Agustin Lecchi, the secretary of the Buenos Aires Press Union (SIPREBA).

"The government is not interested in restructuring these media outlets, some of which were profitable... The only thing they are interested in is destroying their social role,” he added.

“That’s why they attacked TELAM and the National Radio stations. Now they are attacking their capacity to reach people through social media. Indirectly, this impacts all workers because it affects social media expression,” Lecchi added.

The image shows what the Internet user observes when trying to access the website of one of the Argentine media whose transmissions the Milei administration temporarily suspended. The internal text reads, "The page you are trying to watch is under reconstruction."

Meanwhile, this week, the Argentine Senate is expected to discuss a bill that would allow Milei to completely dispose of public media by selling them to private companies.

On February 5, the far-right president issued a decree allowing him to intervene in state media for one year as part of his policy of "reorganizing public companies." This intervention, however, could be extended.

The list of media outlets to be intervened includes the portal Educ.ar, National Radio, Public Television, TELAM, Encuentro, Paka Paka, Depor TV, ACUA Mayor, and ACUA Federal.

“We repudiate Milei's attack on the right to information and communication by suspending social networks and interrupting the content of various public media. His policy also makes allusions to the 1976 dictatorship by using the 'reorganization process' concept," said former presidential candidate Manuela Castañeira, the leader of the New MAS movement.

“It is clear that freedom of expression and the right to information are incompatible with his administration. All our solidarity with public media workers. We call on all democratic sectors to repudiate the government's censorship and threat. Enough of Milei!,” she added.


 
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