Luz Diaz Delgado worked as a journalist in Argentina before leaving, originally to write for a Hispanic newspaper in Washington, USA. She is now studying English in the UK and is an active member of Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London. She gives us her personal perspective on press freedom in her country.
If you have feel you are restricted in what you can or cannot print or broadcast, then it may help to have a look at the situation in Argentina. As an Argentinean Christian with family there, it hurts to look back and is hard to believe what is still going on.
In my country all media is influenced by overlapping interests and agendas too complicated to explain. Most people would agree that the quality of a government and of a democracy can be measured by the degree of freedom of expression enjoyed by all. In the past the weakening of civil institutions was achieved by force, but now it is done by dominating the press and communications.
I believe Galatians 5:1: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery”.Unfortunately it is very difficult for Argentineans to make a stand against the situation.
Early in 2009, when the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina began the debate on a controversial draft law to limit media monopolies, opposition parties rejected it as it was seen to be an attempt at controlling the press. Also opponents accused the government of seeking to hasten the adoption of the law and demanded that the discussion be postponed.
A point of contention of this law was that it forced companies to dispose of their terrestrial or cable channels within a year, because the bill prohibits the owner of a terrestrial channel also owning a cable channel in the same area. Among the companies concerned was the leading multimedia conglomerate in the country, 'Clarín', a fierce critic of government.
During 2009 discrediting and intimidation of the media and journalists occurred repeatedly against the newspaper 'Clarin' and 'La Nacion' in Buenos Aires. The government also refused to answer the questions from reporters from certain media organizations. They ignore, discredit and harass journalists and reporters from those media it has blacklisted as non supportive.
Not only do they focus on the press itself but target the newspaper suppliers, disrupting the administrative activities of 'Papel Prensa' (the main newsprint paper supply company) by intervening in its trade policies. This interference was condemnded by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), which warned that the project threatens press freedom and legal security.
You can see that press freedom in Argentina is in serious danger, mostly because of corruption within the political system. It is really difficult for Argentineans to see a way to change the situation, and many like me have left. It's hard to believe that in 2010 such things can happens over and over again in the world. Although I ask why an honest people do has to put up with such an unscrupulous government, I know that in the end God will certainly be righteous.
If you'd like to speak to Luz her email is firstname.lastname@example.org