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Argentina21 April 2006

Political programme yanked from Tucumán TV station

Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the withdrawal of a political programme called “Periodismo de Verdad” by Canal 5 ATS television in the northwestern province of Tucumán. It had been presented for more than six years by Enrique “Harry” García Hamilton, the former editor of the province’s leading daily, La Gaceta.

“The station’s explanations are not very convincing,” Reporters Without Borders said. “García says his programme was yanked as a result of political pressure. If true, this would be an act of censorship and political meddling in the running of TV station. Attempts by local politicians to influence a privately-owned station’s programming are unacceptable.”

The Canal 5 ATS management told García they did not want to renew his contract as the programme was about to go out on 13 March. García claims that this was because the provincial government had threatened to withdraw state advertising worth 75,000 pesos (20,400 euros).

The station denies this. The head of Canal 5 ATS, Alberto Matías, told the daily Clarín that “Periodismo de Verdad” was dropped simply because the station had decided it had too many political programmes and wanted to make room for more entertainment.

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