The organization said the decline stems from “growing tension between the government and certain privately-owned media about a new law regulating the broadcast media.”
That tension, of course, relates mainly to the ongoing war between President Cristina Kirchner and the multimedia conglomerate Grupo Clarin, which would be dismantled if Kirchner is able to fully implement the three-year-old media law.
Clarin has challenged the constitutionality of the law and its implementation is now held up in courts. The outcome will likely be decided this year by Argentina’s Supreme Court.
Kirchner accuses Clarin of being a monopoly that uses its influence to undermine her government and its policies. Clarin, in turn, says Kirchner is simply trying to crush independent media voices and silence criticism of her government.
Whatever the case, the government clearly has a very antagonistic relationship with the media. Top government official rarely, if ever, offer press conferences and almost never grant open, on the record interviews.
The president herself is famous for avoiding the press, making her one of the least accessible democratic leaders in Latin America and in the Western Hemisphere.