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IAPA backs public awareness campaign to protect journalists in Argentina

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed its support for a public awareness campaign launched by the Association of Argentine Press Entities (ADEPA) for the South American country's authorities to ensure the safety and protection of journalists.

ADEPA called on authorities throughout the country “to ensure protection of the work of the press, and not encourage with insults the climate of violence against journalists and news media.”

The signature-gathering campaign came about after several attacks on journalists throughout the country, especially after an attack on Saturday (February 15) on the newspaper El Sol Diario Online, in the western Argentine city of Mendoza.

Three armed men burst into the newspaper's newsroom shouting threats against journalists. According to the newspaper, the attack occurred “48 hours after Police Criminal Intelligence accessed a report indicating that an alleged drug trafficking leader ordered the kill on the newspaper's journalists”.

Canal 13 – Official advertising

In another development, the IAPA expressed contentment at the Supreme Court's new ruling that asks the federal government not to discriminate but rather adhere to technical criteria for the distribution of official advertising.

The Court had issued a ruling last week requiring the federal government to include Canal 13 television in its distribution of official advertising.

This is the third time that the Court has made a ruling on official advertising, requiring the federal government to provide advertising to the newspapers Perfil in Buenos Aires and Río Negro in Río Negro province.

The latest ruling comes from a lawsuit filed by Artear-Canal 13 of the Grupo Clarín group against the government complaining of discrimination and arbitrary placement of official advertising.

Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, declared, “Once again the Supreme Court has ratified that discrimination in the case of public funds to distribute advertising as a reward or punishment is a serious miscarriage of press freedom.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Busqueda, regretted that “the government has not complied with these rulings and continues to discriminate among media, which is contrary to the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression, international treaties on press freedom and the Declaration of Chapultepec.”

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