Is Argentina really the best place for this?

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters’ will hold its global conference in Argentina Nov. 8-13.

I only raise the issue because the government of Argentina has not been too friendly to independent media.

Here is the opening of the 2010 Freedom House report on the status of press freedom in Argentina:

Argentina took steps to diversify broadcast media ownership and decriminalize libel in 2009. However, the overall level of press freedom remained unchanged, as observers warned that the new media regulation regime unfairly targeted critics of the government. Freedom of speech and of the media is guaranteed under the constitution, but press freedom is occasionally restricted in practice.

Press freedom activists in the country say a lot of the effort to “diversity” media ownership is designed to weaken the largest media chain, Grupo Clarin, because of its opposition to the current government.

So promoting more community radio is a great idea for any government that claims it speaks for the common people and then uses the national treasury to pay for local projects.  The local organizers of a community radio will remember who gave the community a much needed economic shot in the arm and will run their stations accordingly.

Now just imagine some one organizing a community radio station that opposes the Kirchner government. How long do you think that would last?

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Filed under International News Coverage, Press Freedom, South America

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