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Argentine government turns Télam into propaganda agency

Buenos Aires, Jul 1 (Prensa Latina) The Argentine government today published decree 548/2024, by means of which it ordered the conversion of the Télam news agency into a state advertising and propaganda agency, four months after intervening it and announcing its closure.

Signed by President Javier Milei and Chief of Cabinet of Ministers Guillermo Franco, 548/2024 was released on the same day that marks the 50th anniversary of the death of General Juan Domingo Perón (1895-1974), three-time head of state and founder of Télam.

According to the decree, the agency (so far Sociedad del Estado) will cease to operate, as it was originally conceived, in the activities of journalistic services, ‘justifying the modifications of its corporate purpose in the need to align its operations with a new strategic approach’.

From this moment on, it will be a Sole-Shareholder Corporation under the authority of the Chief of Cabinet of Ministers and will focus on the elaboration, production, commercialization and distribution of national and/or international advertising material.

In addition, workers, assets, trademarks, registrations and patents will be transferred to the public media or to third parties.

On March 1, when inaugurating the 142nd ordinary session of Congress, Milei announced the end of Télam, lashed out against such institutions and those who speak out against it.

Three days later, the agency’s web page was deactivated and the Police placed fences around its headquarters in this city.

Its professionals could no longer enter the premises, received compulsory licenses and a proposal of an alleged voluntary retirement.

Since then, several of them remained in front of their facilities, carried out a campaign to collect signatures and several initiatives to claim their continuity and highlight their importance.

Created on April 14, 1945, Télam had more than 700 employees and was the only national agency with a network of correspondents in all Argentine provinces.

In the past it faced liquidation attempts, closures and dismissals during Carlos Menem’s, Fernando de la Rúa’s and Mauricio Macri’s terms of office.

It issued more than 500 cables per day with information from all over the country, published at least 200 photographs and had video departments, radio, a news portal and social networks.