Senate may change Argentine broadcast reform

President Cristina Fernández is meeting resistance to her top priority, a broadcast reform bill, as some senators from her own faction push to soften the legislation. Powerful media interests have harshly criticized Fernandez for her handling of the economy and farm policy. The president has campaigned heavily for the reform, saying it would bring diverse voices to radio and television.

Senate changes to the bill would further weaken Fernández’s unpopular center-left government even before her party loses control of the legislature when lawmakers, elected three months ago, are seated in December.

Critics say the bill is the latest Fernández move to increase state control over the economy and that she aims to crush Grupo Clarin, a media and Internet group whose news outlets have intensely criticized her administration. The bill passed the lower house and is expected to be voted on next week or the following week in the Senate.