Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been given a press freedom award during a visit to Argentina.
The University of La Plata said it was honouring him for his efforts to break "media monopolies" in Latin America and support "popular communication".
The award has angered critics who accuse Mr Chavez of stifling opposition media in Venezuela.
Earlier Mr Chavez signed a series of commercial accords with his Argentine counterpart, Cristina Fernandez.
The university said it was giving Mr Chavez the Rodolfo Walsh award for "his commitment to defending the liberty of the people, consolidating Latin American unity, and defending human rights, truth and democratic values".
Mr Chavez welcomed the honour.
He told a crowd of students that Venezuela was promoting "a new dynamic of communication and information free from the media dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the empire" - the term he uses to refer to the US.
Since becoming president in 1999 Mr Chavez has set up the Telesur network, which offers a state-funded alternative to private television stations across Latin America.
He has also funded a major expansion of state-funded media in Venezuela that support his left-wing politics.
And he has been involved in a long-running battle with private media companies in Venezuela, who he has accused of supporting efforts to overthrow him.
New regulations have forced the closure of many pro-opposition radio and cable television stations, although independent newspapers and websites still operate.