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date: 22 May 2019

Argentine Media Regulation, Fake News, and the Election of Mauricio Macri

Summary and Keywords

November 2015 became a key date in the history of Argentina as former president Cristina Fernandez’ party lost the national elections by the narrowest of margins, less than 700,000 votes, to the right-wing candidate Mauricio Macri, ending a twelve-year run of one of the most progressive governments in the history of Argentina. Many analysts argue that large media conglomerates, especially the Clarín Group, played a significant role in the process leading to political change. Macri supporters in the city of Buenos Aires provided some reasons for their decision to vote for Macri and against Daniel Scioli, who ran on Fernandez’ party ticket. Their answers seem to be influenced by a series of fake news (misleading news articles) published by Clarín and La Nación, two leading news organizations in Argentina, during the months before the national elections. These misleading news stories were published in the front pages of those newspapers and at prime time in their affiliate TV and radio stations. Corrections and retractions rarely appeared in the front pages or prime time. Macri voters came to accept the initial news as legitimate and were influenced by them during the 2015 presidential election. Considering the insignificant margin of votes deciding the election, it can be argued that the two news organizations may have been instrumental in shaping the perceptions of just enough voters to swing the results in Macri’s favor. This suggests that dominant mainstream media have had a significant influence on voters’ attitudes and that this may explain in part the election’s outcome.

Keywords: fake news, disinformation, misinformation, Macri, Clarín, Argentina, media ownership, media concentration, democracy, elections

The Happiness Revolution

On December 10, 2015, a conservative party took power after winning the presidential elections for the first time in the history of Argentina.1 Former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s party lost the elections by the narrowest of margins to the right-wing candidate Mauricio Macri, ending twelve years of one of the most progressive governments in the history of Argentina.2 Many analysts argue the large media conglomerates, especially the Clarín Group, played a significant role in the process leading to the change of government.3

The 2015 presidential elections in Argentina had two rounds. The first one took place on October 25 and had six candidates running for the presidency. Daniel Scioli, former governor of the province of Buenos Aires, was the candidate for Frente para la Victoria, Fernández de Kirchner’s party. He won this round with 36.86 percent of the votes. Mauricio Macri, former governor of the city of Buenos Aires and leader of the main opposition party Cambiemos, got second place, with 34.33 percent of the votes.4 Even though Scioli won this first round, he had lost 1.55 percent of the votes he got in the primaries.5 The second round took place on November 22, 2015. In this second round, only Scioli and Macri participated. In the time between the two elections, Macri received media coverage supporting his campaign promises while Scioli received criticism because he decided not to partake in the first presidential debate.6 Before the November election, Scioli participated in the presidential debate, but press coverage of Macri’s campaign framed Scioli as leading a “fear campaign” while the conservative candidate was said to be leading “the happiness revolution” that had already started in October with the first round of elections.7 In the second round, Macri turned the results around and won the election with 51.4 percent of the votes and a very small margin over Scioli—fewer than 700,000 votes, or 2.68 percent.8 Macri, then, became the first representative of a conservative party to become the president of Argentina through a democratic process.

Macri voters interviewed a few months after the election highlighted some of his campaign promises that influenced their voting decision.9 Among the promises that Macri voters emphasized were:

  1. 1. Poverty zero: Macri promised to eradicate poverty.

  2. 2. End drug trafficking: Macri pledged to implement the Repentant’s Law, to fight drug trafficking and to decrease drug consumption.

  3. 3. End inflation: Macri claimed that lowering inflation was easy and promised it would reach single digits.

  4. 4. No currency devaluation: Macri promised that the peso would not be allowed to depreciate.

  5. 5. Unite the Argentine people: Macri swore not to persecute the opposition.

  6. 6. Bring happiness to everyone: The Macri campaign created a series of slogans around the concept of happiness. The slogans called for a happiness revolution.10

Macri voters also included among the reasons for their choice a list of “facts” that were disseminated in the form of news stories within dominant mainstream media. Many of these facts were proved untrue, and corrections or clarifications had to be published. Some of those corrections came too late or never happened. Through a political economy lens, the in-depth interviews with Macri voters were used to explore the reasons behind their decision-making process. The analysis of the interviews suggests that the misleading content of news may have reinforced the decision process of a segment of Macri supporters who would have supported him even in the absence of this alleged fake news. Additionally, it also implies that these stories may have played a key role in influencing the decision-making process of ambivalent or indifferent voters—those that otherwise may not have voted for Macri. In this article, fake news is defined as false, inaccurate, or misleading information circulated with specific strategic intent.11

These misleading news articles were mainly published, knowingly or not, in the print and online pages of Clarín and La Nación, the two most prominent dailies, and/or aired on Canal 13 or Todo Noticias, the most important TV channels in Argentina, both of which are owned by the Clarín Group. These stories may have had a significant influence on voters’ attitudes, and that may, partly, explain the election’s outcome. Hence, it is very likely that in the case of the 2015 Argentine presidential elections media owners’ ideologies influenced the marketplace of ideas, and the public debate and discourse. The influence of these media corporations among the population is significant because they own the majority of the broadcast licenses in Argentina.12

During the Kirchners’ years, many confrontations took place between the government and the mainstream media.13 The battle was between the groups that were being represented by the media and a government that attempted to impose policies that threatened the traditional power structures in the country. This confrontation became more noticeable in 2009 when the Audiovisual Communication Services Law—legislation that regulated telecommunications ownership in Argentina—passed, because it threatened the Clarín Group’s market power and profits.14 This law had four major components: to improve the degree of democratic participation, to reserve one-third of the airwaves for non-commercial media, to limit ownership and trading of frequencies, and to create a more complex regulatory structure less dependent on the executive.15 After the law was approved, the two main Argentine newspapers, Clarín and La Nación, and their affiliates in radio and television became more hostile towards the government and began a campaign to discredit it on a number of policy fronts.16 This may explain why they were more inclined to publish stories that contained facts that were not wholly verified showing alleged wrongdoing by the Fernández administration.

The interests of large corporate owners may interfere with the media’s ability to inform the public about relevant political, social, or economic issues, thus hindering the public’s ability to be aware of the significant issues affecting the well-being of a society at large, to evaluate policies, and to demand new policies to address current concerns.17 It can also affect the capability to choose a leader that represents your own interests. A look at how the Clarín Group consolidated as the biggest media conglomerate, and La Nación as the second biggest, helps to illustrate how the dissemination of misinformation across platforms may have affected the decision of Macri voters, including the ones interviewed for this study.

The Clarín Group

In Argentina, the military regime that ousted Juan Domingo Perón in 1955 tried to promote competition among media providers in an effort to avoid replicating the use of media during the deposed regime (1945–1955). The effort was successful enough to prevent the consolidation of a monopoly media outlet, in particular, due to the competition among outlets that were not part of large media holdings.18 During the 1970s the state monopolized the production and distribution of television. This delayed the development of multimedia groups relative to other countries in the region.

Meanwhile, the newspaper Clarín was consolidating its position in the market, amassing the economic strength necessary to launch its expansion during the 1980s and to become one of the leading media groups in the region.19 Additionally during the 1980s, the group acquired Radio Mitre, a radio station that had one of the largest market shares in Buenos Aires. In the early 1990s, the group purchased Canal 13, a television channel, thus expanding its business into two new media branches. In 1992, the group entered into the cable television business with the acquisition of Multicanal, becoming the largest operator in Latin America with more than 1.5 million subscribers.20 Currently, the Clarín Group has a dominant position in all the country’s cultural markets where it participates, controlling around 40 percent of the content used by different media platforms (newspapers, magazines, radio, network and cable television, and internet and telephone services).21 It is the only holding that participates along the entire value chain of the media businesses, from production to publication and distribution of content.22

The most visible face of the Group is its traditional Clarín newspaper, which has existed since 1945. Its origin is intimately linked to the Noble family.23 On August 28, 1945, the journalist Roberto Noble (who was also a Secretary of Interior during the conservative government of Manuel Fresco in the province of Buenos Aires during the 1930s) founded the paper. On that day, the newspaper sold 60,000 copies.24 Since 1958, the paper has added around 100,000 copies every ten years.25 In 1965, Clarín became the newspaper with the largest number of copies sold in the city of Buenos Aires and, in 1985, became the newspaper selling the largest number of copies in the Spanish-speaking world.26 Noble managed the paper until his death in 1969. After that, his wife, Ernestina Herrera de Noble, became the head of the group until her death in June 2017.27

La Nación is distributed nationwide and has the second largest distribution of any newspaper in the country.28 But the daily circulation of Clarín is substantially superior to its primary and immediate competitor and commercial partner. The commercial synergies between them take place through three different ventures in the information industry. First, the Cimeco venture is the owner of two newspapers with high circulation rates: La Voz del Interior, a morning paper that ranks third in the country in terms of distribution, and Los Andes, the most read paper in the province of Mendoza, with an average of 30,000 copies daily, according to the Circulation Verification Institute.29 Second, together they share the ownership of the news agency Diarios y Noticias.30 And lastly, they own Papel Prensa S.A.31

Another paper that belongs to the Clarín Group is Olé, the first paper in the country that, since 1996, covers only sports. It enjoys the fourth place regarding copies sold in Argentina with an average of 45,000 per day. The hegemony of the Group in the market includes various magazines, supplements, and books, besides the millions of printed products sold annually.32 Moreover, the Clarín Group owns the main printing plant of newspapers and magazines in the country, Artes Gráficas Rioplatenses, born in 1976 as the first subsidiary of Clarín. Other subsidiaries include Arte Gráfico Editorial Argentino, editor of the Clarín and Olé newspapers, and Impripost, a firm that manages the logistics of documents and where the Group has a 50 percent control.33

During the 1990s, when neoliberal policies were being applied in full force and the markets became more concentrated, the Clarín Group began an incursion into other markets and initiated a process of consolidation in radio and television ownership.34 Currently, through its subsidiary Arte Radiotelevisivo Argentino, Clarín owns Canal 13’s signal, which leads, along with Canal 11 from the Telefónica group, in audience and revenue.35 Its presence in network TV is reinforced through the provincial Channel 7 of Bahia Blanca, Channel 12 of Cordoba, Channel 6 of Bariloche, and Channel 10 of Rio Negro. In the radio business, the Group has total control of Radio Mitre, the second most listened to AM station in the country, behind Radio 10, and it also owns La 100, the fourth FM radio station in terms of audience.36

Furthermore, the Clarín Group participates in the production of movie and television content: It has shares in three of the most important producing companies in the country and two of the principal producers of television content, Pol-Ka (55 percent) and Ideas del Sur (30 percent). And it owns 30 percent of Patagonik Fil, one of the most important producers of content for movies.37 Additionally, the most profitable businesses for Clarín are its companies that provide television services by subscription, Cablevisión and Multicanal. Their fusion took place in 2007. This is precisely one of the industries with the highest levels of concentration in the country.38 Lastly, on June 29, 2018, Macri approved the merger of Telecom, one of the biggest telecommunication companies in Argentina, provider of mobile and fixed telephone services, and Cablevision, two companies where the majority of shareholders are from the Clarín Group.39

Media Regulation in Argentina

The media reform in 2009 in Argentina dismantled a law that was implemented during one of the darkest periods in Argentina’s recent history, the military regime that ruled over the country between 1976 and 1983. During that time, the regime was very generous with the two major commercial newsgroups in Argentina, Clarín and La Nación, who returned the favor by painting a favorable picture of the dreaded Junta day after day, justifying their atrocities as patriotic acts.40 Following the restoration of democracy on December 10, 1983, there was a broad consensus on the need to repeal the regime’s broadcasting media law and to enact a new one.41 There were many failed attempts to change it until Congress passed the Audiovisual Communication Services Law in 2009.

The Media and the Military

The state-of-terror regime that took power on March 24, 1976, needed to have a policy of disinformation, censorship, and media manipulation.42 The media were used by the regime to attack its enemies and defend its policies. The regime terrorized the media during its stay in power. Journalists were assassinated, newspapers were closed, and publications were censored. Many journalists fled into exile. Repression was exercised indiscriminately to paralyze the population with fear and to minimize the reaction against the regime. The media discredited human rights organizations while promoting free-market ideas.43

The presence of the state in the media was manifested via different forms of intervention. The state generated the news, it was the only source of information, it managed the majority of radio stations in the country, and it was the primary advertiser. The regime was not concerned with market concentration, with finances, sales, or advertisers. The discussions around a law to legislate the media were present since the beginning of the military regime. But it was not until March 1980 that the government passed law 22,285, which was made operational in 1981 by Decree 286. The law, designed by the military, centralized power with the government, and it was authoritarian. This was consistent with the rest of their policies. There were eight years during which the right to information, the right to communication, and the right to free speech were ignored. During that time, society at large was the victim of the partnership between the media and the regime. These relationships complemented the policy on communications, including business arrangements to favor friends, the generation of consensus, censorship, control, and repression. This also set the path along which regulation hardly evolved.44

The Return of Democracy

During the first three years after the transition, the old media regulatory body inherited from the dictatorship was mostly unchanged. This was partly attributed to the weakness of the political parties.45 One of the reasons for the delay was that in 1984, one year into the democratic government, President Raúl Alfonsín temporarily suspended the implementation of the new communications policy until the actual law was modified. This delayed changes in the sector and closed the door to new entries in the market. However, through popular demand and political clientelism, many community-based radio stations began to function. Many people also installed these radios to create work for themselves in an economy where it was difficult to find employment.46 In addition, the private sector did not want Congress to get involved in regulating them.47

The first policy affecting communication was to place the public television station, ATC (Argentina Televisora Color), under the control of the Secretary of Culture. However, one of the main problems confronted by the secretary was managing a public communication service financed by the private sector. A second concern was the quality, content, and veracity of the news programs, as the channel faced limitations imposed by the private sector sponsors. And the third concern was related to the small percentage of programs originating in Argentina. Many of the programs offered were of low quality and did not attract larger audiences. In 1986 ATC was transferred to the Secretary of Public Information of the Presidency.48

By the end of 1987, the government announced the new proposal for a media law that promoted democratic values and provided incentives for pluralism and inclusion, and it was written in plain language that anyone could read, but Alfonsín abandoned it in 1988. Under pressure from the private sector, the proposal was later changed in favor of the interests of this group by reducing regulation, reducing competition from the public sector, allowing more advertising time, and allowing more market power.49 The mass media investors formed a Commission of Independent Mass Media with the participation of the Argentine Association of Magazine Publishers, the Association of Provincial Newspapers, the Association of Publishers of Buenos Aires, the Association of Private Radio Stations, and the Association of Broadcasters. Private broadcasters had a great deal of bargaining power with the government stemming from their influence on politics and public opinion and the new licensing rules whereby newspapers were allowed to own television channels. The sectorial demands rendered the construction of public policy a challenging enterprise.50 In the end, different versions of a new media law were presented in Congress, but none were approved.51

The Menem Years

The presidency of Carlos Menem (1989–1995 and 1995–1999) was very significant for the media landscape in Argentina. In light of the work that had not been completed by the previous administration, the democratization of communications and the creation of a new legal framework for the media did not appear directly but were part of a larger change regarding the role of the state in general.52 Despite his anti-liberal stance during his campaign, Menem imposed on Argentina a profound neoliberal reform package.53 It was not a surprise to witness how the unregulated media markets became more concentrated. Media fell into the hands of oligopolies. This was part of the larger neoliberal approach to public policy.54

Structural reforms led to the privatization of state-owned media and restrictions were lifted, so newspaper owners were allowed to invest in other parts of the sector. This facilitated Clarín’s expansionary vision. Under Menem, Congress implemented a series of laws to promote the sale of state enterprises and, simultaneously, Congress implemented laws to deregulate the market system to facilitate the visions of companies that were ready to expand their power. Some of the key laws relaxed restrictions on the number of shares that private and foreign investors could have in broadcast media, effectively opening the door to many more investors in mass media. This promoted the formation of the first multimedia groups in the country. This is how Clarín, for example, could expand into broadcasting during this time.55

The neoliberal ideology also relaxed regulations on media content. Through presidential decree, broadcasters were allowed to advertise longer and place advertising in the program. There was also a reduction in the amount of national programming required, and the regulation of foreign-produced advertising was also relaxed.56 The 1990s were characterized by the formation of multimedia groups with ownership that extended across the platforms and whose presence was found in most mass media segments. Menem used discretionary power to help the interests of the private sector, to the detriment of the majority of the population.57 Regulatory reform in Argentina was carried out through presidential decrees and ministerial resolutions. Neither the state institutions nor the voters were democratically consulted on any of the changes.58

The Alianza and the Crisis

With the end of the Menem administration, the country inherited a legal system that was outdated and that had been altered with numerous decrees. The regulatory system was eviscerated during the 1990s, and it was deeply corrupted, lacked credibility, and was almost broken. The Alianza government of Fernando de la Rúa that took power in December 1999 continued with the neoliberal regime instead of reforming the larger macroeconomic policy, as he had promised to do during his campaign. The continuation of the same policies did nothing but deepen the social and economic degradation of Argentina.

Regarding communication policy, the government did not do much. The continuation of the neoliberal policies of Menem meant that there would not be meaningful changes to the regulatory regime as far as the media were concerned because there was no commitment to interfere with the market system in a meaningful way. This led to the inexorable end, with the president flying off from the roof of the presidential palace, literally. Down in the streets, a massive popular uprising was clashing with the police forces. As tear gas and bullets chased the frustrated crowds, de la Rúa left on a helicopter taking off from the rooftop of the presidential palace, never to return to power. He had managed to stay in power for 740 days.59

The Kirchners: Two Different Visions

De la Rúa resigned from the presidency in the midst of political chaos. Argentina in 2001 was suffering one of the worst economic crises of its history, riots claimed twenty-one lives, and five presidents took office in ten days, and yet the country managed to avoid regressing to an authoritarian regime. In fact, a military coup, the traditional response to crises in Argentina when the civilian government was not able to manage, did not occur. Even after many changes in the presidential chair, the country did not sink into a military regime.60

Eduardo Duhalde, former governor of the province of Buenos Aires, lasted the longest among these transitional presidents. However, the Avellaneda (a suburb of the city of Buenos Aires) massacre of July 26, 2002, in which the violent repression of a demonstration took the lives of two youths, Maximiliano Kosteki and Darío Santillán, forced Duhalde to bring the election day forward, and instead of October, Argentines went to the polls in April 2003. Néstor Kirchner got 22.24 percent of the votes, behind ex-president Carlos Menem who got 24.45 percent. However, because neither of the first two candidates got the necessary 45 percent required to win the election in the first round, they were supposed to confront each other in a ballotage. Menem, based on the polls registering a devastating loss for him, decided to abandon the race before the second round. Kirchner became the elected president of Argentina on May 25, 2003.61

The first relevant law regarding broadcasting regulation took effect in May 2003. Law 25,750 protected large multimedia corporations with significant debt in dollar terms from being absorbed by their foreign creditors by imposing a maximum threshold of 30 percent foreign ownership of domestic media. In this way, not only did the state help the indebted companies, but the participation of foreign ownership was legitimated in the media sector, something that until that point had been prohibited. Another measure, approved on September 30, 2004, extended the licenses of Canal 13 and Canal 11 until January 14, 2015.62

In May 2005 the Encuentro channel, from the Secretary of Education, was created. It began functioning as a complement of educational curriculum in 2006. In February 2006, an agreement was signed with Venezuela to include Argentina in the television channel TELESUR, whose intent was to constitute a news channel to promote the political and cultural integration of the Latin American countries, and that would act as a counterweight to the hegemonic dominance of chains such as CNN or BBC.63 On the other hand, Kirchner permitted the merger of Multicanal (owned by the Clarín Group) and Cablevisión.64 The new group had 55 percent of the cable television market in the country. And this percentage was higher in the urban centers.65

Néstor Kirchner’s wife, Cristina Fernández, was elected president on October 2007. She took a different approach to media regulation. She had a much more contentious relationship with mainstream media companies, partly provoked by the way this relationship was transformed during a conflict with the agricultural sector, in 2008, over some export tariffs on windfall profits earned by the sector at the time.66 Clarín took the side of the rural sector and tended to cover the events with a degree of negativity toward the government.67 The president argued that Clarín contributed to casting a negative image that later translated into a defeat during congressional elections, and she compared Clarín to the tanks that had supported the civilian coups of the past. She referred to the Clarín Group as the multimedia generals.68

The conflict with the rural sector initiated a battle between Fernández and Clarín. This fight became more contentious when the president linked the Group to human rights abuses during the 1976–1983 military regime. First, the administration bought in 2009 the rights to broadcast the games of the Argentine Soccer Association, which at the time was nearing financial collapse. Previously the rights had belonged to Torneos y Competencias (TyC), a cable channel owned by Clarín. Then, the president pointed out that under TyC only paying customers got to watch the games, while under the new contract all viewers could watch the games, and she implied that under the cable system people disappeared just as had happened during the last dictatorship.69 The second example involved a legal case against Ernestina Herrera de Noble, then director of the Clarín Group, regarding her adopted children. It was suspected that her adopted children were two of the more than 500 children that went missing during the dictatorship.70 In November 2009, the Fernández administration passed a law requiring DNA testing is such cases.71 The third example concerned the newsprint manufacturer Papel Prensa S. A., of which the Clarín Group is the principal shareholder. In 2011 the government passed new laws regulating the price of paper used by newspapers, effectively impacting the profit rate of Clarín, and classified this paper as of national interest. New legislation, sanctioned in December 2011, defined newsprint as a national interest and created a new government body to regulate prices and ensure that total internal demand was satisfied. By law, the government could increase its shareholding capacity based on a report that argued the Clarín Group acquired ownership of Papel Prensa S.A. with the help of the military regime, with whom the Group had acted in collusion.72

The Audiovisual Communication Services Law

A large segment of Argentine society had been demanding the reform of media law for a long time. There were many calls to reform media before the Kirchners came to power. Since 2004, civil society, from universities to trade unions, had been demanding that the media be reformed in an organized manner. A group of more than 300 social actors—indigenous people, union members, and academics, among others—called the Coalition for Democratic Broadcasting, outlined a document that became the basis for the law. The discussion included the role of the state in the media, public service, the promotion of non-profits, and market structure regulation.73 They approached President Kirchner with a proposal to democratize the airwaves and to legislate access to promote diversity of voices and plural representation of all groups and views.74 They introduced an initiative called the “21 issues” that were used as a basis for reforming media law in Argentina. Large segments of society were involved in the discussion and debate, which was unprecedented. The involvement of the coalition lent credibility and legitimacy to the initiative.75 However, for the groups to be successful, the government had to be receptive to their demands. The Kirchner administration was not. Conversely, one could argue that the conflict between the Clarín Group and the Fernández administration over export tariffs ended up being a blessing in disguise for those advocating media reform, because the president became more inclined to support a policy that would take some power away from them.76

In 2009, after Fernández publicly recognized the work of the coalition, it organized twenty-four public forums in every province in Argentina before sending the final project to Congress. In August, Fernández sent a bill to the House of Representatives to replace the broadcasting law. Meanwhile, the coalition continued its work to gain adherents across the country. The bill introduced in the House of Representatives was approved after going through more than a hundred changes. In the Senate, it passed with forty-four votes in favor and twenty-four against. This was a radical change, opening up the sector and ensuring the participation of public institutions, social organizations, and the public at large as active producers of media.77

The Audiovisual Communication Services Law approved in 2009 by Congress had four major components: to improve the degree of democratic participation, to reserve one-third of the airwaves for non-commercial media, to limit ownership and trading of frequencies, and to create a more complex regulatory structure less dependent on the executive.78 According to the law, a television network could not have more than 35 percent of the national viewers’ market share and could not own more than twenty-four licenses. Vertical and horizontal integration would be reviewed before licenses were granted and the law did not allow cross-ownership. In a municipality, no license holder could own both a cable TV station and a radio station, and in the same town, it could not own more than two radio stations. This could have had a significant effect on the Clarín Group’s structure.79 The law redefined the power structure in the media market, providing social organizations, cooperatives, civic associations, foundations, and unions, among others, with a voice. A third of the broadcasting spectrum was to be allocated to these non-profit organizations, and the law did not impose limits on geographical reach or potency or on the right to secure funding.80

The law was never fully implemented. First, the Clarín Group presented motions in lower courts all over the country claiming the law was unconstitutional. This continued until October 2013, when the Argentine Supreme Court ruled against the Clarín Group. However, Clarín continued to fight the implementation of the law and did not complete the necessary steps to adapt to the regulation. This battle ended when Macri took power and by executive order modified the articles of the law that were forcing Clarín to restructure its multimedia company.

Mainstream Media Battle with the Kirchners

During Fernández’ second presidency, much was said regarding bias in Clarín’s and La Nación’s coverage of her administration. In April 2015, Uruguayan journalist, sports commentator, and TV personality Víctor Hugo Morales published a book called Mentime que me gusta (Lie to me because I like it). In the book, he outlined a series of stories published in Clarín and/or La Nación that reported uncorroborated allegations, sometimes even going against their own style guides and editorial manuals.81 Voters justified their votes for Macri based on some of the false allegations included in the stories published by the main media sources. Todo Noticias (the Clarín Group’s all-news channel), another important source of information for these voters, also reported the fake stories.

Macri voters were interviewed to find out to what extent these fake stories were influencing their voting decisions. Among the political scandals that may have helped to turn public opinion in the months (and in some cases years) before the election against the Fernández administration were the circumstances around the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman; how allegedly former vice-president Amado Boudou used a proxy buyer to benefit from government contracts; a trip Cristina Fernández took to the Seychelles, implying that she may have been laundering money; some offshore accounts that were allegedly found in Nevada under the name of the president’s son; the president’s daughter living in a luxury apartment in New York, paid for with state money; and the minister of economics earning more than one salary.

On January 19, 2015, the prosecutor Alberto Nisman was going to denounce Fernández and other government officials for allegedly sheltering the Iranian government from prosecution during the investigation of a terrorist attack perpetrated in 1994 against a Jewish institution in Buenos Aires. However, Nisman was found dead in his apartment on the morning of January 19. The autopsy report ruled it a suicide. Nonetheless, Clarín began a media campaign alleging that Nisman was either killed or compelled to commit suicide by the Fernández administration.82 This contributed to discrediting Fernández’ party during the election year. This discussion took place even in the face of evidence that precluded foul play.83 Nisman’s suicide continues to be used as a smokescreen by the Macri administration to distract his base from more pressing problems.84 Furthermore, a year earlier government officials had explained the evolution of the bombing investigation in relation to Iran.85

The Ciccone case refers to allegations made in 2015 against the then vice-president of Argentina, Amado Boudou, for engaging in economic activities incompatible with his official functions. The accusations involved investing in a firm through a proxy buyer that later benefited from government contracts.86 Meanwhile, the defense attorneys introduced plenty of evidence to the courts contradicting the charges.87 The case was complex, and the details were important. However, Clarín’s coverage was irresponsible and ended up casting a shadow over the government during a presidential election year.

On August 19, 2013, the front page of Clarín included a headline implying tax evasion and money laundering in relation to a trip by Fernández to a fiscal heaven, Seychelles.88 This was a follow-up story to an investigation shown on one of Canal 13’s (a Clarín Group TV station) shows. On the same day that the story was published in Clarín, the government responded in detail to the allegations.89 However, the coverage contributed to gradually building an image of government corruption leading up to the next presidential race.

On June 6, 2008, La Nación published a story alleging that Fernández had gone on an expensive shopping spree to some of the more exclusive fashion stores in Rome, Italy, while attending a United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization conference.90 This article was based solely on an article published by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. However, on May 2, 2013, La Nación published an article indicating the president had won a lawsuit filed against the Italian newspaper for the publication of that story.91 La Nación’s original article contained false information and was damaging to the president.

On March 29, 2015, Clarín published a story alleging that former defense and security minister and then ambassador Nilda Garré, and Fernandez’ son, Máximo Kirchner, had offshore accounts in Iran and a Delaware bank.92 On April 1, 2015, Máximo Kirchner refuted the allegations.93 On April 14, 2018, Clarín published an article correcting its claims from three years earlier, but the damage was already done.94 The initial Clarín’s story occupied the center front page of the Sunday edition, amplifying the impact of the allegation.

On August 31, 2014, La Nación published an article alleging that Florencia Kirchner, Fernández’ daughter, lived during 2010 in a luxury apartment on Park Avenue in New York.95 The article questioned the source of the funds used to pay for the apartment. One day later, La Nación published another article in which Florencia Kirchner provided evidence that during her academic stay in New York she had lived in a room within a student dorm.96 Clarín published the same evidence on the same day.97 While lacking evidence, the initial article contributed to building the idea that Fernández and her family were dishonest.

On May 14, 2015, Clarín published an article claiming that then Minister of Economics Axel Kicillof was earning, besides his monthly ministerial salary of 55,000 pesos, a second monthly salary of 400,000 pesos as director of YPF, the oil company managed by the government.98 Kicillof was director of YPF since 2012, before his post as Minister of Economics. When the story was published, Kicillof was negotiating salary increases with the unions, and this allegation would have antagonized the government’s supporters. Later that day, Clarín published another article stating that the minister had publicly denied the allegations, and a similar article appeared in La Nación.99 The information published on the first article was not true, however, contributed to discrediting the Fernández administration’s party during an election year.

Why Did People Vote for Macri?

The Macri voters interviewed for this study were between 24 and 60 years old and lived and/or worked in the city of Buenos Aires and/or its suburbs. Seventy-five percent voted for Macri in the first and second rounds. Twenty-five percent voted for Margarita Stolbitzer or Sergio Massa in the first round and for Macri in the second round. The majority (75 percent) are men, and 60 percent have some college education. The interviews were conducted in July 2016, right after Macri announced that the tariff for services such as natural gas, water, and electricity were going to increase by 1,000 percent and people were starting to show signs of dissatisfaction with the recently elected president. Initially, they were going to participate in focus groups, but they did not want to disclose in front of others their vote and did not want to participate in them. Alternatively, they agreed to be interviewed on the condition that they remain anonymous. A total of twenty-seven interviews were conducted before saturation was achieved.

A common trait among these voters was that they self-identified as politically neutral, that is, as someone who does not have a strong preference for a party. They supported the idea of a change of power because they believed that change was intrinsically a good thing. They thought that Macri was an able administrator based on the perception that his tenure as governor of the city of Buenos Aires had seen significant improvements in the city. They also contrasted the tax-rich city of Buenos Aires with the poorer, tax-poor suburban areas in the province formerly governed by Scioli (his adversary during the election). And finally, despite the lack of progress, participants supported the idea that the government should be allowed to be in power for at least one to two years before being judged on its performance.

Regarding media consumption, all participants avoided answering the question when first asked. This could be due to the stigma that is attached to getting information from certain outlets in Argentina. However, further questioning revealed that participants consumed news from the following outlets: Clarín, Canal 13, TN (from the Clarín Group), and La Nación.

Rocio, 35, a teacher from Lanús, a suburb of the city of Buenos Aires, was convinced all public officials from the Fernández administration were stealing money from the state. “Kicillof had more than one salary, and there were others like him in the government,” she said. She is not alone. Emiliano, 39, from the Palermo neighborhood in the city of Buenos Aires, also believes this. “The economic minister had two salaries, or maybe more and we don’t know about it,” he stated. For Mariano, 27, an administrative assistant at a government agency and a resident of the Once neighborhood in the city of Buenos Aires, this was an important piece of information that guided him when deciding whom to vote for in November 2015. He said: “Kicillof had two salaries while he was the minister of economy, like him all in the Fernández administration did the same.”

Lorena, 41, unemployed, who lives in the Boedo neighborhood in the city of Buenos Aires, was outraged because “they [the Kirchners] stole all the money.” “The president’s son has accounts in the United States with all the money they took from the people,” she said. For Eugenio, 24, a business student from the San Telmo neighborhood in the city of Buenos Aires, the president’s children were following her steps by opening offshore accounts and living in luxury apartments in the United States. “They are spoiled, and they are robbers!” Juan, 40, who lives in Tigre, a suburb of the city of Buenos Aires, and owns a microbrewery, agrees with Lorena and Eugenio: “The Fernández administration officials became rich stealing from the state. That was demonstrated when they found the bank accounts in Nevada under Máximo’s name.”

But it was not just Máximo Kirchner’s alleged behavior that made people decide to favor Macri with their vote; his sister Florencia’s behavior was also mentioned. “His little sister did not fall behind. With state money, she lived in New York in a luxury apartment and drove a Mini,” Pedro, a construction worker from La Boca, a neighborhood in the city of Buenos Aires, said. “She said it was not true, but now the truth is out in the open, and we know how much they robbed us,” he added.

And Cristina Fernández herself did not escape accusation. Marta, 55, a physician from Quilmes, another suburb of the city of Buenos Aires, was convinced that the president had become rich by stealing and laundering money from bribes charged by her public officials in exchange for political favors. “That was demonstrated when Canal 13 showed how she stopped there on her way back to Argentina to leave money on her accounts,” she said. Martín, 25, a medical student from Barrio Norte, another neighborhood of the city of Buenos Aires, said that Fernández “went to Seychelles to leave all the money she had stolen.” Juan agrees with them: “They used Seychelles to leave there all the money they stole from all the Argentine people.”

Jorge Lanata, a journalist who became an icon of the Clarín Group during the last years of the Fernández administration, is one of the Macri voters’ idols. They take everything he says as true without requiring any proof. For this reason, when he aired the story about the Seychelles trip and started to talk about an alleged “Kirchners’ money highway,” it became a reality for many people. For Mauro, 39, a lawyer who lives in Recoleta, a neighborhood in the city of Buenos Aires, this was a deal breaker. “Cristina [Fernández] has to go to jail. The investigation on the Kirchners’ money highway is clear proof that they took all our money,” he said. Lorenzo, 43, an IT consultant who lives in Vicente López, a suburb of the city of Buenos Aires, was convinced that “there is proof that the Ks [Kirchners] hid all the money they stole. They were professionals robbing the state money, Lanata showed everything on TV,” he said.

Another story Macri voters used to justify their vote was the Ciccone case. Eugenio was convinced that former vice-president Boudou had to go to jail. “It is demonstrated everything he stole,” he said. Juan added that he knew that Boudou was a proxy agent for the Kirchners. “Lanata showed it all with the Ciccone case,” he insisted.

Finally, the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman was another issue that influenced voters when making their decisions. “They killed Nisman because he was going to show how they stole everything,” said Gladys, 31, an elementary school teacher from Caballito, a neighborhood in the city of Buenos Aires. “Cristina [Fernández] sent people from Venezuela and Iran to kill him to hide the Kirchners’ involvement in the AMIA’s bombing,” said Tomás, a 27-year-old architecture student from Agronomía, another neighborhood in Buenos Aires.

The comments shared by Macri voters during the interviews show clearly how, in contemporary society, mass media has become an important space for building consensus. For the majority, mass media are the principal sources of information regarding public affairs. If that information is biased due to media conglomeration and lack of access to a plurality of voices, the public’s understanding will be biased as well. The more powerful a media conglomerate is, the wider it can spread its messages. In some Latin American countries, as in the case of Argentina, the issue of media ownership distribution is particularly serious because there is a lack of legal restrictions. Corporate media ownership guarantees an uphill battle for those trying to promote social change. Hence, media concentration has generally been acknowledged as an obstacle to plurality. Without legitimate, significant, and meaningful plurality of sources of information, sources providing information functional to the interests of most stakeholders in a social system, the political system will not serve the interests of society at large. That is why the concentration of media ownership is an important issue to consider when looking at the possible influence these big media corporations may have had in the 2015 Argentine presidential elections and recent political events in Latin America in general.

Discussion of the Literature

Lawson and Hughes have discussed how high levels of media concentration impede the development of more pluralistic media systems in Latin America.100 Trejo Delarbre and Becerra and Mastrini show how in some Latin American countries, such as Argentina, media ownership distribution is a particularly serious problem because there is a lack of legal restrictions.101 Hence, media concentration has been generally acknowledged as an obstacle to plurality. Hughes and Lawson also stress that the distribution of power in the private market in the region could be characterized as oligopolistic.102 These oligopolies, unsurprisingly, have been entangled with the political power in each country. The rate of media concentration accelerated during the last decade of the 20th century, but the monopolizing tendencies were evolving for years before that.103

Political changes during the 1980s, according to Waisbord, led investigative journalists to expose corruption.104 Market-friendly neoliberal policies inhibited and precluded the development of critical and independent media.105 Media consumers demand a mix of news, favoring entertainment instead of news and analysis about issues crucial to their lives. According to Keller, this means consumers do not have enough information to function adequately in a democracy.106 Additionally, scholars such as Curran and Hargreaves Heap explain that mass media corporations earn higher profits from creating entertainment than from providing relevant information.107 Media corporations produce a mix of entertainment and news to maximize profits, which means the quantity of pertinent news delivered in the media market is below the level that society requires in order to be well informed. However, Baker states, a more informed citizenry could promote a healthier political system.108 Basic economic theory argues that information encourages a positive externality on society as everyone benefits from it, especially those who are not informed.109 In the presence of positive externalities, unregulated markets, the theory claims, will arrive at an equilibrium level below what would be optimal for society—also known as a market failure. In this case, government intervention in the media market improves the market outcome.

Fox and Waisbord point out how most Latin American countries enjoy electoral democracies; however, only a few have established a media regime to promote popular representation and to hold those in power accountable for their actions.110 In the same line of thought, Hughes and Lawson posit that independent and plural media continue to be a central concern of political reform in Latin America because a healthy democracy depends on news media being able to promote democracy.111 Independent media cannot easily flourish in many countries in the region because they may face retaliation and because the laws are not strong enough to protect those who challenge the media corporations.112 That is why political power has not been meaningfully challenged in some countries.113 Fox and Waisbord and Hughes and Lawson conclude that there is a lack of meaningful voices during elections.114

Primary Sources

Newspaper articles in Argentina are generally easy to access digitally. News organizations have different online search options available to the public. For some, you need to open a free account, and for others, you need to be a paid subscriber. Clarín has an online service offering each front page of the printed version since 1945, and its content is available online since 1999. However, in the case of Clarín certain stories are no longer available online and can only be read in the printed editions in different archives. La Nación has an online service offering the content of the printed edition since January 1996. Página/12 has an online service offering current and past issues. All newspapers also have archives that are open to the public at certain times during the weekdays.

For information concerning the content of specific laws, Infoleg is an online source provided by the Argentine government to search for laws, bills, and other legal information. It is useful for researchers who want to read the original texts of bills and laws and their amendments.

For information concerning the government, the web pages of Casa Rosada and the ministries (for the executive branch), Congress (legislative branch), and the Justice Department (judicial branch) are complete.

In Buenos Aires, the National Library of Congress has an extensive collection of print versions of a significant number of newspapers in Argentina going back several decades.

Clarín: front pages since 1945.

Clarín: content since 1999.

La Nación: content since January 1996.

Página/12: current issues.

Página/12: past issues.


Further Reading

Becerra, Martín. De la concentración mediática a la convergencia. Políticas de medios en Argentina y América Latina. Buenos Aires: Paidós, 2015.Find this resource:

Becerra, Martín, and Guillermo Mastrini, Los dueños de la palabra. Acceso, estructura y concentración de los medios en la América latina del Siglo XXI. Buenos Aires: Prometeo Libros, 2009.Find this resource:

Cerruti, Gabriela. El Pibe. Negocios, intrigas y secretos de Mauricio Macri, el hombre que quiere ser presidente. Buenos Aires: Planeta, 2010.Find this resource:

Chomsky, Noam. Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda. New York: Seven Stories, 2002.Find this resource:

Férnandez, Fernando Quiróz, and Francisco Sierra Caballero. Globalización, comunicación y democracia: critica de la economía política de la comunicación y la cultura. Seville, Spain: Comunicación Social Ediciones y Publicaciones, 2001.Find this resource:

Fox, Elizabeth. Media and Politics in Latin America: The Struggle for Democracy. London: Sage, 1988.Find this resource:

Galasso, Norberto. Mauricio Macri, la vuelta al pasado. Buenos Aires: Colihue, 2015.Find this resource:

Lijalad, Ari, ed. Macri lo hizo. El impacto de las primeras medidas de su gobierno, (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Continente, 2016).Find this resource:

Llonto, Pablo. La noble Ernestina. El misterio de la mujer más poderosa de la Argentina. Buenos Aires: Editorial Punto de Encuentro, 2007.Find this resource:

Mastrini, Guillermo. Mucho ruido, pocas leyes: economía y politícas de comunicación en la Argentina (1920–2009). Buenos Aires: La Crujía, 2009.Find this resource:

Morales, Víctor Hugo. Mentime que me gusta. Buenos Aires: Aguilar, 2015.Find this resource:

Waisbord, Silvio. Watchdog Journalism in South America: News, Accountability and Democracy. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.Find this resource:


(1.) Marcos Mayer, “Por la razón o la fuerza,” in El relato macrista: construcción de una mitología (Buenos Aires: Ediciones B, 2017), 13–17.

(2.) Fernando Cibeira, “Los globos amarillos llegaron a la Rosada,” Página/12 online, November 23, 2015.

(3.) Ana Paula Rodríguez, “Elecciones 2015: ¿qué papel juegan las redes sociales en la campaña?,” El Destape online, July 8, 2015.

(4.) Also running were Sergio Massa with the Unidos por una Nueva Alternativa party (21.34%), Nicolás del Caño in the leftist Frente de Izquierda (3.27%), Margarita Stolbizer for the Progresistas list (2.53%), and Adolfo Rodríguez Saá representing Compromiso Federal (1.67%).

(5.) “Elecciones 2015: resultados por provincia, municipio y comuna,” La Nación online, October 26, 2015.

(9.) A series of in-depth interviews were conducted in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in July 2016, almost seven months after Macri took office as president of Argentina.

(11.) High Level Expert Group, Fake News and Online Disinformation (Brussels: European Commission, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 2018); RISJ, How Can We Combat Fake News? The Role of Platforms, Media Literacy, and Journalism (Oxford: Reuters Institute, 2017).

(13.) Jerónimo Repoll, “Política y medios de comunicación en Argentina. Kirchner, Clarín y la Ley,” Andamios 7, no. 14 (2010): 35–67.

(14.) Christof Mauersberger, “To Be Prepared when the Time Has Come: Argentina’s New Media Regulation and the Social Movement for Democratizing Broadcasting,” Media, Culture & Society 34, no. 5 (2012): 588–605.

(15.) Mauersberger, “To Be Prepared.”

(16.) Juan Eduardo Bonnin, “Religious and Political Discourse in Argentina: The Case of Reconciliation,” Discourse & Society 20, no. 3 (2009): 327–343.

(17.) Raúl Trejo Delarbre, “Muchos medios en pocas manos: concentración televisiva y democracia en América Latina,” Revista Brasileira de Ciêncas da Comunicação 33, no. 1 (2010): 17–51.

(19.) Mastrini and Becerra, “50 años.”

(20.) Mauersberger, “To Be Prepared”; Mastrini and Becerra, “50 años.”

(22.) Orlando, Medios privados.

(23.) Orlando, Medios privados.

(25.) Sandra Valdettaro, “Diarios: entre Internet, la desconfianza y los árboles muertos,” in El fin de los medios masivos. El comienzo de un debate, ed. M. Carlón and C. Scolari (Buenos Aires: La Crujía, 2009), 47–67.

(26.) Orlando, Medios privados.

(27.) Borrelli, “Una batalla.”

(28.) Mauersberger, “To Be Prepared”; J. Posse, “El Monstruo Pisa Fuerte,” Revista En Marcha, no. 50, 36–39 (2008).

(29.) Becerra and Mastrini, Los dueños.

(30.) Orlando, Medios privados.

(31.) Ownership of Papel Prensa is divided as follows: Clarín 49%, La Nación 22.49%, and the state 28.51%.

(32.) Posse, “El Monstruo Pisa Fuerte.”

(33.) Patricia Vialey, Marcelo Belinche, and Christian Tovar, “The Media in Argentina: Democracy, Crisis and the Reconfiguration of Media Groups,” in The Media in Latin America, ed. Jairo Lugo-Ocando (Berkshire, UK: McGraw Hill/Open University Press, 2008), 13–28.

(34.) Orlando, Medios privados.

(35.) Becerra and Mastrini, Los dueños.

(36.) Orlando, Medios privados.

(37.) Posse, “El Monstruo Pisa Fuerte.”

(39.) Pablo Fernández Blanco, “El gobierno aprobó la fusión entre Cablevisión y Telecom,” La Nación online, June 30, 2018.

(40.) Mauersberger, “To Be Prepared.”

(41.) In this article a democracy is defined as a political system that has free and open elections where people can easily participate, there is factual competition among parties, and civil liberties are respected; R. A. Dahl, Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1971).

(42.) Carlos Mangone, “Dictadura, cultura, y medios,” Causas y azares 4 (1996).

(43.) Heriberto Muraro, “La comunicación masiva durante la dictadura militar y la transición democrática en la Argentina, 1973–1986,” in Medios, transformación cultural y política. Buenos Aires, ed. Oscar Landi (Buenos Aires: Legasa, 1987); Glenn Potolski and Santiago Marino, “Relaciones Peligrosas: Los medios y la dictadura, entre el control, la censura y los negocios,” in Mucho ruido, pocas leyes: economía y politícas de comunicación en la Argentina (1920–2009), ed. Guillermo Mastrini (Buenos Aires: La Crujía, 2009), 159–188; Mirta Varela, “Silencio, mordaza, y ‘optimismo,’” Todo es historia 404 (2001).

(44.) Potolski and Marino, “Relaciones Peligrosas.”

(47.) Landi, “Media, Cultural Processes.”

(48.) Landi, “Media, Cultural Processes.”

(49.) Com, “Alfonismo, context.”

(50.) Landi, “Media, Cultural Processes.”

(51.) Com, “Alfonismo, context.”

(52.) Rossi, “La radiodifusión.”

(53.) Steven Levitsky, Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America: Argentine Peronism in Comparative Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003); Susan C. Stokes, Mandates and Democracy: Neoliberalism by Surprise in Latin America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

(54.) Vialey, Belinche, and Tovar, “The Media in Argentina.”

(55.) Luis Alfonso Albornoz, José Castillo, Pablo Hernández, Guillermo Mastrini, and Glenn Potolski, “La política a los pies del mercado: la comunicación en la Argentina en la década del 90,” in Globalización y monopolios en la comunicación en America Latina: hacia una economía política de la comunicación, ed. Guillermo Mastrini and César Bolaño (Buenos Aires: Editorial Biblos, 1999), 135–150; Hernán Galperín, “Transforming Television in Argentina,” in Latin Politics, Global Media, ed. Elizabeth Fox and Silvio Waisbord (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002), 22–37; Rossi, “La radiodifusión”; Vialey, Belinche, and Tovar, “The Media in Argentina”; Mariana Baranchuk, “Canales 11 y 13: la primera privatización de la década menemista,” in Mucho ruido, pocas leyes: economía y politícas de comunicación en la Argentina (1920–2009), ed. Guillermo Mastrini (Buenos Aires: La Crujía, 2009), 215–237.

(56.) Albornoz et al., “La política”; Eduardo Basualdo, Sistema político y modelo de acumulación en la Argentina (1976–2001) (Buenos Aire: Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, 2001); Galperín, “Transforming television”; Rossi, “La radiodifusión.”

(58.) Luis Alfonso Albornoz, Guillermo Mastrini, and Mariano Mestman, “Radiodifusión: los caminos de la regulación,” Causas y Azares 4 (Winter 1996): 22–33; Galperín, “Transforming Television.”

(60.) Omar G. Encarnación, “The Strange Persistence of Latin American Democracy,” World Policy Journal 20, no. 4 (2003): 30–40.

(62.) Califano, “Comunicación.”

(63.) Califano, “Comunicación.”

(64.) Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS), Derechos humanos en Argentina: informe 2010 (Buenos Aires: Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, 2010).

(65.) Califano, “Comunicación.”

(66.) Paul H. Lewis, The Agony of Argentine Capitalism: From Menem to the Kirchners (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2009).

(67.) Martín Becerra and Guillermo Mastrini, “Crisis, What Crisis? Argentine Media in View of the 2008 International Financial Crisis,” International Journal of Communication 4 (2010): 611–629.

(68.) Cristina Fernández, “Encuentro por la convivencia y el diálogo en Plaza de Mayo,” Casa Rosada online, March 1, 2008.

(69.) Pablo Alabarces and Carolina Duek, “Fútbol (argentino) por V: entre el espectáculo de masas, el monopolio y el estado,” Logos 17, no. 2 (2010): 16–28; Cristina Fernández, “Palabras de la Presidenta en la firma de acuerdo entre la AFA y el SNMP,” Casa Rosada online.

(70.) Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, “Abuelas solicito la comparación del ADN de los jóvenes adoptados por Ernestina Herrera de Noble con el de varias familias que buscan hijos de desaparecidos,” July 18, 2008; Rita Arditti, Searching for Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).

(71.) Elizabeth B. Ludwin King, “A Conflict of Interests: Privacy, Truth and Compulsory DNA Testing for Argentina’s Children of the Disappeared,” Cornell International Law Journal 44, no. 3 (2011): 536–568.

(72.) “Ley Papel de pasta celulosa para diarios 26.736,” Government of Argentina, December 12, 2011; Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas (MECON), “Informe Papel Prensa,” Ministry of Economy and Public Finance, Buenos Aires, 2010.

(73.) Coalición para una Radiodifusión Democrática, “21 puntos básicos por el derecho a la comunicación,” July 2008.

(74.) Mauersberger, “To Be Prepared.”

(75.) Liliana Córdoba, “La Coalición por una radiodifusión democrática: regenración del espacio public y ejercicio de ciudadanía,” Argumentos, Revista de crítica social 13 (2011): 133–157.

(76.) Silvio Waisbord, “The Pragmatic Politics of Media Reform: Media Movements and Coalition-Building in Latin America,” Global Media and Communicatio 6, no 2 (2010): 133–153.

(77.) María Soledad Segura, “La sociedad civil y la democratización de las comunicaciones en la Argentina. La experiencia de la Coalición por una Radiodifusión Democrática,” Argumentos, Revista de crítica social 13 (2011): 83–108.

(78.) Mauersberger, “To Be Prepared.”

(79.) Michael Warren, “Argentine Supreme Court Approves TV Media Limits,” Associated Press, October 29, 2013.

(80.) María Soledad Segura, “Las organizaciones sociales como prestadoras de servicios de comunicación audiovisual en la Argentina. Condiciones y estrategias,” in Metodologías de investigación en comunicación. Perspectivas transformadoras en la práctica investigativa, ed. A. E. Maldonado de la Torre, J. A. Bonin, and N. Martins do Rosario (Quito: CIESPAL, 2013).

(82.) “Conmoción política: encuentran muerto al fiscal Nisman,” Clarín online, January 19, 2015.

(83.) “Una muerte confirmada a la madrugada,” Página/12 online, January 20, 2015.

(84.) Raúl Kollman, “Los mitos de Nisman,” Página/12 online, March 26, 2017.

(85.) Raúl Kollman, “Los tiempos con Irán,” Página/12 online, February 2, 2014.

(87.) “Una causa que sigue,” Página/12 online, June 26, 2015.

(88.) “La extraña visita de la Presidenta a un paraíso fiscal,” Clarín online, August 19, 2013.

(89.) “Una escala ‘por normas de aeronavegación y de seguridad,’” Página/12 online, August 19, 2013.

(90.) “Visita a Bulgari antes de la cumbre,” La Nación online, June 6, 2008.

(92.) Daniel Santoro, “Revelan que Garré habría manejado dos cuentas en Irán,” Clarín online, March 29, 2015.

(93.) “Máximo Kirchner respondió a las acusaciones de Clarín,” El Día online, April 1, 2015.

(95.) Hugo Alconada Mon, “Florencia Kirchner también quedó en la mira de los buitres,” La Nación online, August 31, 2014.

(98.) Alcadio Oña, “Kicillof tiene en YPF un sueldo superior a los 400 mil pesos,” Clarín online, May 14, 2015.

(99.) “Kicillof aseguró que no cobra ‘un peso’ como director de YPF,” Clarín online, May 14, 2015; “Kicillof dijo que recibe ‘cero pesos’ de la empresa,” La Nación online, May 15, 2015.

(100.) Chappel Lawson and Sallie Hughes, “Latin America’s Postauthoritarian Media,” in (Un)Civil Societies: Human Rights and Democratic Transitions in Eastern Europe and Latin America, ed. Rachel. A. May and Andrew K. Milton (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007), 163–196.

(102.) Sallie Hughes and Chappel Lawson, “The Barriers to Media Opening in Latin America,” Political Communication 22, no. 1 (2005): 9–25.

(103.) Trejo Delarbre, “Muchos medios.”

(105.) Waisbord, Watchdog Journalism.

(106.) Perry Keller, European and International Media Law: Liberal Democracy, Trade, and the New Media (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

(107.) James Curran, Media and Power (London: Routledge, 2002); Shaun P/Hargreaves Heap, “Television in a Digital Age: What Role for Public Service Broadcasting?” Economic Policy 20, no. 41 (2005): 111–157.

(108.) C. Edwin Baker, Media, Markets and Democracy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

(109.) Howard J. Sherman, E. K. Hunt, Reynold F. Nesiba, Phillip A. O’Hara, and Barbara Wiens-Tuers, Economics: An Introduction to Traditional and Progressive Views (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2008).

(110.) Elizabeth Fox and Silvio Waisbord (eds.), Latin Politics, Global Media (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002).

(111.) Hughes and Lawson, “The Barriers.”

(112.) Hughes and Lawson, “The Barriers.”

(113.) Fox and Waisbord, Latin Politics.

(114.) Fox and Waisbord, Latin Politics; Sallie Hughes and Chappel Lawson, “Propaganda and Crony Capitalism: Partisan Bias in Mexican Television,” Latin American Research Review 39 (2004): 81–105; Hughes and Lawson, “The Barriers.”