Judge Cecilia Gilardi de Negre resolved that the Government pay Editorial Perfil compensation for discrimination with official advertising that the national State applied to Jorge Fontevecchia’s media group for more than a decade.
Discrimination against Editorial Profile It started with the government of Néstor Kirchner, In 2004, it continued during the administration of Cristina Kirchner and it was solved, little by little, with Mauricio Macri.
It is the first time that Justice has set the price that a government must pay to compensate a media outlet for the damages derived “from its illegitimate conduct” with the discretionary distribution of official advertising.
It is estimated that the total figure for Editorial Perfil would exceed $ 200 million, based on the update of the figures corresponding to each one of the media and the years in which they were discriminated against.
Judge De Negre, in charge of the Federal Administrative Contentious Court No. 8, ordered to pay the biweekly Profile the official publicity that the Government did not give it between June 2004 and March 2011, “With a sum equivalent to the total amount billed by the newspaper Página / 12 as an official advertising guideline for its editions on Saturdays and Sundays.”
For instance, the accounting expert established that in 2010 Page / 12 received $ 907,573 in official advertising, so that same figure “updated by the active rate of Banco Nación” is the one that Editorial Perfil will receive. And so with each of the years in which the Editorial Perfil media did not receive official publicity.
In the cases of magazines Semanario y Mía, the compensation goes from the years 2010 to 2017, as well as the digital portals of Supercampo and Caras, among others, when Macri ruled. The previous years did not enter, because they prescribed, not being in the original trial, which had the Supreme Court ruling in 2011.
“It is a historical failure because, for the first time, the right of a medium to be compensated as a result of discrimination is recognized by not receiving official publicity in the same way as similar media did “, said Jorge Fontevecchia, co-founder of Editorial Perfil and CEO of Perfil Network, in a column he published in that medium.
“There is still the appeal that the State, again, made to the Chamber and eventually back to the Supreme Court. But the entire process of accumulating evidence, expert opinions, witnesses, challenges to evidence, etc., occurs in the first instance and is what takes more time. The next judicial steps would be a matter of months “, estimated Fontevecchia.
Is that former president Néstor Kirchner used the distribution of official advertising as an indirect censorship tool, to subsidize the media aligned with the Kirchnerist “story” and punish those who were critical of his management.
The first one who was punished by Kirchnerism was Editorial Perfil, which in March 2011 obtained a ruling from the Supreme Court that ordered the Government to order the distribution of official advertising respecting “a reasonable balance with those of similar characteristics.” But the Kirchner government never did.
That attitude that Kirchnerism had with Perfil, was also applied later with the newspaper The nation, journalist Luis Majul and the media Clarín Group, among others, that obtained rulings of the Justice, so that the official publicity is replaced.
Channel 13 managed, in June 2013, that the Federal Administrative Litigation Chamber demands from the Government an “equitable” scheme of official guidelines among the open TV channels of the city of Buenos Aires.
That same year, the Justice ordered the Government to also present a scheme for the “allocation of advertising” to the radio and television programs of the production company La Cornisa, from Majul, since the Government had removed official advertising since 2011, without any objective cause that justifies such action.
While that was happening, Sergio Szpolski’s Kirchnerist group was the one that received the most official guidelines in 2011, with Cristina Kirchner, who gave him $ 125 million, despite its extremely low sales and circulation, whose resources were in the hands of front men.