Uruguay Government and Media Profile

Uruguay Political Orientation

Australia - Government and Media - Right-Center BiasUruguay Government and Media Country Profile


Government Type: Constitutional Republic
Leader: President Luis Lacalle Pou
Political Party: National Party (Uruguay)
Political Position: Center Right

Press Freedom

MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 83.17 – Mostly Free
World Press Freedom Rank:
Uruguay 52/180

The World Press Freedom Index, published by Reporters Without Borders, ranks Uruguay in 52nd position among 180 countries regarding freedom of information, stating, “The decriminalization of media offenses, community broadcast regulations, and access to information ensures a favorable environment for journalists in Uruguay.”

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

Both government and private radio/television stations operate in Uruguay with foreign content delivered through cable television, particularly from the USA and neighboring countries such as Argentina and Brazil.

The government owns public broadcasting through the Ministry of Education and Culture, including Uruguay’s National TV Televisión Nacional Uruguay or TNU (formerly Canal 5) and Radio Nacional Uruguay. According to the Freedom House annual 2021 report, “There are numerous daily and weekly newspapers, some of which are connected to political parties.” However, the details of politically affiliated newspapers are not given and are impossible to locate. The BBC reports that the leading national dailies in Uruguay are El País followed by El Observador and La Repúblic. Due to a lack of transparency, ownership details are not known.

Freedom House’s annual report rates Uruguay as free due to media reforms improving media pluralism and independent journalism. Notably, free press advocates such as Reporters Without Borders and Freedom House praises the 2014 broadcasting law as exemplary. However, Civicus.org reports the latest developments and warns that President Lacalle Pou’s government is considering a new media law to “impose setbacks for media pluralism, transparency, and public participation.”

In summary, the press of Uruguay is free and promotes pluralism; however, many media outlets lack transparency of ownership, which may reveal conflicts of interest. Further, the current President is seeking reforms that may undo the gains made in press freedom.

Country Rating Methodology

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

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