In a press conference this morning, Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña announced that a new communications bill will be sent to Congress, the creation of a new communications organization and, consequently, the shutting down of the Federal Bureau of Audiovisual Communication Services (AFSCA) and the Federal Bureau of Information Technology and Communications (AFTIC). Remember when a few days ago Communications Minister Oscar Aguad said they wouldn’t mess with the Media Law “for now”? Well, “now” is over.
With Aguad and Miguel De Godoy (the future head of the AFSCA,) Peña announced the creation of the National Entity of Communications (ENACOM), merging the AFSCA and the AFTIC, which will be represented in Congress. The measure will be published tomorrow in the Official Bulletin.
“Today marks the beginning of a public policy on communications from the 21st century,” Peña continued, for which Cambiemos is presenting a “new communications bill that integrates the laws of media and technology in order to have a 21st century policy framework.”
Through these measures, which have yet to be presented in Congress, the National Government will allegedly seek to “end the State’s war against journalism, the conflicts and the fighting, which has been useless and has divided the Argentine people.”
During Cristina’s presidency, a series of conflicts between the government and certain media outlets (particularly the Clarín Group) have greatly polarized Argentine journalism and media. Part of this struggle began with the Media Law — which basically regulates media licenses in Argentina — sanctioned in 2009, which Cambiemos is set to change through this new bill.
For an explanation on the Media Law and the fight with Clarín, check out this article by The Bubble.
The AFSCA had been under pressure from the government since day one, calling for its former head Martín Sabbatella to step down because of his loyalties towards the Victory Front (FpV) party. Last week, the government announced that it was taking over both the AFSCA and the AFTIC via decree, which led to protests outside the AFSCA offices and Sabbatella refusing to leave until a federal judge ordered his eviction.