Latvia Government and Media Profile

Latvia Political Orientation

Latvia - Government and Media - Right-Center BiasLatvia Government and media country profile


Government Type: Parliamentary Republic
Leader: Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš
Political Party: Unity Party (Vienotība)
Political Position: Center-Right

Press Freedom

MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 85.74 – Mostly Free
World Press Freedom Rank:
Latvia 16/180

Russians make up the largest minority, and there is an ongoing tension between Latvians and the Russian minority living in Latvia. Russians were given non-citizenship status where they paid taxes but were not allowed to vote. Reporters without Borders report Latvian sanctions on pro-Kremlin media in 2020, which “led to the closure of the Perviy Baltijskij TV channel’s news service, the ban on the Russian TV network RT, and arrests of local employees.”

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

Latvian media consists of mostly corporately owned outlets such as Providence Equity Partners, the owner of All Media Baltics, which operates TV, Radio, and digital media channels and assets in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. TV is the most preferred medium, and TV3 is the most popular TV station among numerous TV channels such as TV6, TV2 (Kanal 2), and LNT. Public broadcaster Latvijas Televīzija (Latvian Television, LTV) has two stations: LTV1 and LTV7, with 60 percent of its financing coming from the state budget while the rest is through advertising.

When it comes to print media, the most prominent dailies are Diena (published by Dienas Mediji), Latvijas Avīze (Lauku Avīze), and Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze (Mediju Nams). Russian language media outlets include the daily Vesti Segodnya and weekly MK-Latvia. 

The media regulatory authority is the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEMMC) (abbreviated NEPLP in Latvian). It is responsible for Radio and TV transmissions. Due to national security risks, the National Electronic Mass Media Council recently banned broadcasts of Russian TV channels Rossiya RTR and Rossiya 24 in Lavia. The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia (Saeima) appoints the National Electronic Mass Media Council members. Finally, Libel is a criminal offense in Latvia that limits media freedom.

In conclusion, corporate media dominates the print and broadcast media, limiting media pluralism. However, the government controls public broadcasting by firing members of the governing council of the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEMMC) or appointing new members.

Country Rating Methodology

Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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