Kirchner Cracks Down on Media Freedom

Cristina Kirchner / AP

A supreme court ruling in Argentina is expected in the coming weeks over the limitation of media power, the Guardian reports.

Grupo Clarin, which controls 60 percent of the cable market and 25 percent of the Internet market, as well as TV channels, radio stations, and several papers, is fighting a law meant to limit its ownership.

The 2009 "Audiovisual Media Law"  was introduced by President Cristina Kirchner.

Kirchner's supporters say the move is designed to break up a dangerous monopoly, but critics challenge it as being a dictatorial attack on freedom of expression.

Lower and intermediate courts have issued conflicting judgments on the law, and the supreme court is now under intense pressure to give the final word. […]

Ricardo Kirschbaum, executive editor of Clarín newspaper, says the Kirchner administration (previously run by Cristina's husband, Nestor) has always seen the media as something to co-opt or conquer.

"Nestor offered the oil business from Venezuela to the Clarín group in 2007. His goal was to draw Clarín towards his policies. But when he realised that we were not interested, the war began," Kirschbaum told the Guardian.