A controversial media law has been passed by the Argentine parliament, replacing the previous legislation dating from the period of military dictatorship in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
However the law has divided opinion. The government says it is designed to break up media monopolies, but its critics say the new television and radio stations it allows will be easily influenced by the government. Clarins, Argentina’s biggest media group, and a fierce critic of the government, will have to sell off several assets. “Everyone will have the chance to have a form of communication and speak for the dignity of the people. Culturally it is good; the advancement of freedom of expression is good,” said one supporter. One of the bill’s provisions is allocating non-governmental organisations a third of the market, on an equal level with public and private media operations. The opposition says the new regulatory body will not be independent enough, although journalist’s unions have supported the new law.