Russia Today is to be closed in Argentina for similar reasons that saw Telesur removed from the free-to-air (FTA) network three months ago. According to the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, press freedom will suffer.
The Spanish-language channel will stop airing through the DTT network within 60 days, unless an agreement between the Russian and Argentinean governments unblocks the situation.
“We are going through the DTT plan. There are many local channels that want to join the network but there is not radio-electric space for all of them,” said Hernán Lombardi, Argentina’s ministry of media and public content. “We hope to find a solution with the Russian authorities.”
Since the new government was appointed in Argentina, the media industry has been deeply analysed. Russia Today is not the first signal to be shut off, as Venezuela-based Telesur, of which Argentina’s State was shareholder, was kicked out of the country’s TV less than three months ago.
Some sources are also pointing to political reasons behind such decisions. “It’s sad Argentina’s new government rejects to have an alternative point of view on TV. I wouldn’t be surprised if CNN appeared in Russia Today’s frequency instead of a local channel,” said Victoria Vorntsova, broadcasting director of the channel’s Spanish feed.
According to the NGO Council on Hemispheric Affairs, these moves affect press freedom in the country. “It is an alarming violation of hemispheric press freedom. The removal of Telesur and RT from the Argentine media scene has not elicited much media attention from corporate media news outlets, though the story would most likely be breaking news and inspire outrage were it occurring in a country with a progressive government,” stated Zachary Cohen, research associate at the NGO.
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