In view of the communication policy outlined by the Decrees of Necessity and Urgency
13/15 and 267/15 issued by President Mauricio Macri
The above signatory, who are devoted to the study of the relationships between media, communication technologies and democratic policy from a variety of angles, approaches and concerns, express our concern in view of the communication policy outlined by the Decrees of Necessity and Urgency (DNUs) 13/15 and 267/15 issued by president Mauricio Macri.
There are grounds for concern both in the procedure and the content of those measures. A brief summary follows:
- Because the measures have enormous and many-facetedimplications for democracy and freedom of expression, media/communication policy-making, they must be the product of ample discussions and consensus among multiple political and social actors. They cannot be decided behind closed doors by the Executive branch of the government and the main business actors. As a matter of fact, both the use and the content of the Decrees contravene international agreements binding in Argentina as well as specific laws pertaining to the protection of freedom of expression and media regulation.
- The arguments put forward in public and stated in the Decrees do not justify the status of Necessity and Urgency of the measures taken.If anything, those arguments warrant a wide legislative debate allowing all the affected parties to publicly express their views.
- The resort to the Decrees is contrary to the aspiration to build sustainable policies to adequately regulate democratic public communication and overcome long-standing flaws in the historical relationships between the Argentine media and political systems.
- While the criticisms of the selective, partial and/or partisan application of the Law of Audiovisual Communication Services are valid, the problems are not corrected by eliminating or altering it.Instead, it was necessary to ensure that its central articles are implemented in an impartial and transparent manner. If what is expected is to modify the law, any changes have to be the result of legislative debates, broad public knowledge, and social participation.
- The Decrees create a new agency in which the Executive Power will have absolute majority and could remove “without invoking a reason” all members (including those representing the minority). Such decision does not promise a process open to various political and social interests in the control, application and design of communication policies.
- Argentina had recently made progress in the institutional building of audiovisual policies that involved the Executive Power, public and legislative debates as well as a decision by the Supreme Court. In agreement with regulations in other democracies, all three state powers shared the view that freedom of expression and pluralism demand restrictions on the concentration of media ownership. Certainly, it is legitimate to discuss suitable mechanisms to establish restrictions, but it is problematic to suppress the debate (grounded on the empirically wrong premise that concentration does not exist in our country), eliminate limits to concentration without clear arguments, and decree an opposite framework as fait accompli.
- The relaxation of limits to ownership will bring important consequences for a sector prone to economies of scale, benefit large companies, and in all likelihood, consolidate the domination of a few conglomerates. This is not only a problem for economic competition, but it affects freedom of expression and the quality of our democracy.
Martín Becerra, UNQ – UBA – Conicet
Philip Kitzberger, UTDT – Conicet
Santiago Marino, UNQ – UBA – USAL
Guillermo Mastrini, UNQ – UBA
Eugenia Mitchelstein, UDESA
Soledad Segura, UNC – Conicet
Martín Sivak, UNSAM – NYU-BUENOS AIRES
Gabriel Vommaro, UNGS – Conicet
Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University
Luis A. Albornoz, IIGG-UBA – Conicet
Natalia Aruguete, UNQ – Conicet
Manuel Balan, McGillUniversity
Micaela Baldoni UBA – UNGS – EHESS
Ana Bizberge, UBA
Marcelo Brunet, UNJu – UCSE
Ornela Carboni, UNQ – Conicet
Juan Pablo Cremonte, UNGS
Carlos da Rosa, UN Misiones
Florencia Enghel, Universidad de Estocolmo
Agustín Espada, UNQ – Conicet
Gustavo Fontanals, UBA
Maria Trinidad García Leiva, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Ariel Goldstein, UBA – Conicet
Pedro Arturo Gómez, UNT – UCSE
Nadia Koziner, UNQ – Conicet
Alejandro Linares, UN La Pampa – UBA
Ernesto Picco, UNSE
Natalia Raimondo Anselmino, UNR – Conicet
Lucrecia Reta, UN Comahue
Lorena Retegui, UNQ
Luis Ricardo Sandoval, UNPSJB
Laura Rosenberg UNGS – UBA – CONICET
IvanSchuliaquer, UNGS – Conicet – SorbonneNouvelle
Lucía Vincent, UNSAM
Esteban Zunino, UNQ – UMAZA – Conicet
Alejandro Barranquero Carretero (Universidad Carlos III, España)
Gustavo Buquet (Uruguay)
Marcos Dantas (UFRJ, Brasil)
Romel Jurado (Ecuador)
Gabriel Kaplún (UDeLaR, Uruguay)
Alberto Efendy Maldonado de la Torre (UNISINOS, Brasil)
Isabel Ramos (Flacso, Ecuador)
Murilo Ramos (UNB, Brasil)
Carlos Scolari (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Rosemary Segurado (PUC-SP, Brasil)
Pablo Alabarces (UBA/CONICET),
Silvia Benchimol (UNCuyo)
Roberto Gargarella (UBA, UTDT)
Mariana Heredia (UNSAM, UBA/CONICET)
Enrique Peruzzotti (UTDT)
Alejandro Ramírez (UNER)
Miguel Julio Rodríguez Villafañe (UNC)
Natalia Vinelli (UBA, BarricadaTV)