Panama Government and Media Profile

Panama Political Orientation

Panama - Government and Media - left Center BiasPanama Media and Government Country Profile


Government Type: Presidential Republic
Chief of State and Head of Government: President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen
Political Party: Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD)
Political Position: Center-Left

Press Freedom

MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 73.34 – Mostly Free
World Press Freedom Rank: Panama 69/100

According to, corruption is a significant risk in the country’s judicial system. Furthermore, Reporters without Borders describes the situation for journalists as “journalists in Panama are often the targets of judicial proceedings when they criticize government policy or cover corruption-related stories, especially ones with international ramifications.” Reporters without Borders also draw attention to the defamation often used to silence journalists.

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

In Panama, conglomerates own most media outlets; however, the government still indirectly controls and pressures media companies through the allocation of state advertising. For example, Medcom Panama (Medcom Corporation) operates Telemetro, RPC TV, Mall TV, and two radio stations (RPC Radio and Caliente). Gonzalez Revilla is the president of Medcom Corporation. He is also the cousin of former president Ernesto Pérez Balladares González-Revilla.

When it comes to print media the most popular are Panamá América, La Prensa (owned by LA PRENSA CORPORATION) and El Siglo. Panama also criminalized defamation; for example, in 2020, the court froze La Prensa’s owner, Corporación La Prensa’s assets because of a defamation suit by the former president. 

In conclusion, corporate media dominate the print and broadcast media; therefore, there is significant corporate influence on the media. The government influences the corporations through funding from advertising money, and defamation suits intimidate journalists, leading to bias and self-censorship.

Country Rating Methodology

Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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