The government announced the takeover of state-owned public media companies Educ.Ar, Télam, Radio y Televisión Argentina (RTA), and Contenidos Públicos for one year. The move was made official on Monday via a decree signed by President Javier Milei and Interior Minister Guillermo Francos.
“For greater efficiency in the operation of the public sector, a deep reorganization of public companies is necessary,” the decree read.
Lawyer Diego Martín Chaher was appointed as auditor of RTA and, on an ad-honorem basis, of Télam, Contenidos Públicos, and the Educ.Ar portal. In addition, Sebastián Marías was appointed as deputy controller of Radio y Televisión Argentina and, on an ad-honorem basis, of the other three.
The announcement outlines Chaher and Marías’ roles in the exhaustive external audit known in Spanish as an intervención (intervention), a process by which a company or organization’s daily activity is scrutinized on top of a judicial investigation.
This decision to take over public media is in line with the December mega-decree which declared a public emergency in economic, financial, fiscal, administrative, social security, tariff, health, and social matters until December 31, 2025.
Several sectors voiced their disagreement with the government’s decision. The Unión por la Patria (UxP) Senate bloc rejected the move in a press statement released Monday evening, calling the decision “a clear step towards authoritarianism.” They added that the decree is in line with the government’s desire to privatize state-owned companies and is “new evidence of the contempt Milei has for the work of Congress.”
“The decision is directed at generating potential privatizations destined to favor economic groups or shut down the companies that make up the state’s media structure,” they stated.
Agustín Secchi, secretary general of the journalist’s union SIPREBA, told the Herald that the takeover is illegal. He added that the attempt to turn public media into for-profit companies “disrupts the role of public media as a guarantor of plurality of voices and plural information.”