The study of the 52 most important media in Argentina shows a high degree of concentration among the companies that produce most of the news in the country. Grupo Clarín is the largest and most consolidated group, because of its income, its geographical coverage, its preferential access to telecoms and media licenses, and its partnership with the National Government in the manufacturing of paper, an essential raw material in print. In addition, an indicator on cross-media ownership shows that Héctor Magnetto’s conglomerate covers over 25% of all news consumption.
Groups are private, commercial and have close ties with the (national, provincial and local) governments, which help them receive large portions of official advertising. Many groups work in other economic activities, their media companies operating as a “lubricant” for these activities. Community media and media cooperatives are different. They have traditionally been neglected licenses, official advertising or the National Government’s support. In the report, they are represented by Tiempo Argentino.
Although most media groups are of Argentinian capitals, foreign (mainly American) capitals play a key role, since their groups dominate the TV market. What’s more, unlike media groups in Brazil and Mexico, Argentinian groups have not deploy strategies to go beyond the national borders, apart from exporting audiovisual products and formats. Except for Perfil (present in Brazil, China and other markets), La Nacion (present in the United States) and Infobae (present in the United States, as well as in several countries in the region), the remaining groups do not have a strong presence abroad (Clarín holds minority interests in Paraguay, Brazil and Mexico).
The most powerful groups integrate multimedia by including audiovisual and print components (printed and digital).
The National Government also owns a multimedia structure, the Federal System of Media and Public Content. However, it is not relevant in terms of audience, and its management and editorial line are defined by the government in office.
There is no direct public access to or effective controls over the information about the corporate structure of media groups. Exceptions include Grupo Clarín, which is a listed company and must therefore publish information on its stock and revenues. However, based on journalistic information, it is possible to determine the corporate structure of media groups and find out who are behind a company’s front men (as in Grupo Albavisión’s case).