Argentina Government Bias
World Press Freedom Rank: Argentina 29/180
Reporters Without Borders ranks Argentina 29th among 180 countries regarding press freedom. RSF states that the most critical issues in Argentina are: polarisation among private and state-owned media, defamation lawsuits, police aggressiveness against journalists, and censorship.
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
ITV is Argentina’s most popular news medium, and conglomerates dominate the media landscape. For example, the largest media company is Grupo Clarín; it covers 43% of the market share and owns the leading newspaper Clarín, Olé, TV station Eltrece (Canal 13), TN (formerly Todo Noticias), and multimedia company Artear. Noble Herrera, Magnetto, Pagliaro, and Aranda families own Grupo Clarin and are close to the right-leaning Mauricio Macri’s administration. Another powerful family is the Mitre Family, which owns Daily La Nación.
Further, an equally powerful conglomerate is Viacom, as they own Telefé (Televisión Federal) (Canal 11). The American Redstone family owns Viacom and CBS Corporation. Finally, Grupo América (formerly Grupo UNO) or Grupo Vila-Manzano is yet another corporation owned by Daniel Vila and José Luis Manzano. According to Media Ownership Monitor, Grupo América consist of 40 companies, and América TV is the group’s leading company. In general, public media organizations are comparatively weaker in comparison to conglomerates. The state owns national public broadcaster Televisión Pública (TVP).
When it comes to media laws, in 2012, Argentina tried to enforce an anti-media monopoly law. It took on press monopolies that Western media outlets criticized as censorship. In Argentina, the right to be forgotten (RTBF) is a legal concept defined as having private information about a person removed from Internet searches (Google, Yahoo). This legal concept is recognized in several countries, including the European Union (EU), but not the United States, and in 2020 Argentina followed the European model; however, Freedom House criticizes Argentina’s use of RTBF.
In summary, Argentina has wealthy family-controlled, and politically connected media, with Grupo Clarín and international conglomerates having a monopoly over public discourse; therefore, Argentina has a significant corporate bias that may limit plurality. Further, the government indirectly controls the media by “funneling official advertising to sympathetic media,” which puts financial pressure on the media to cover news per the government’s preferences resulting in soft censorship.
Last Updated on May 3, 2022 by Media Bias Fact Check