Argentina government shuts state news agency Telam

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Argentina’s government on Monday officially closed state news agency Telam, transforming it into a state advertising and “propaganda” agency after right-wing President Javier Milei accused it of leftist bias.

The agency, which was founded in 1945 and counted more than 700 employees, “will cease to operate as it was originally created... as a news agency” and take on its new functions, according to a government bulletin.

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Telam will now be dubbed the State Advertising Agency (APE), in charge of “the development, production, marketing and distribution of national and/or international advertising material.”

Milei’s budget-slashing government had already suspended Telam’s operations in March, saying it was facing millions in operating losses.

“Telam as we knew it has ceased to exist. The end,” presidential spokesperson Manuel Adorni wrote Saturday on X, prior to the publication of the official bulletin.

The Buenos Aires press union and agency workers described the government’s actions as an “attack on freedom of expression.”

“We are continuing our fight to defend jobs and the social role of public media that this government intends to destroy,” they wrote in a statement.

In May, media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders singled out Argentina in its press freedom rankings, saying Milei’s decision to shutter Telam was a “worrisome symbolic act.”

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