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Introduction to the media

Peru´s media--print media, television and radio--were impacted like never before by events of the 1990s during the authoritarian government of Alberto Fujimori. During that era, many journalists, directors and newspaper proprietors were effectively bought with huge sums of money by the National Intelligence Service (SIN) that was directed from the shadows by the then presidential adviser Vladimiro Montesinos.

As a result, some media were effectively under state control in a general sense and more specifically, in relation to the second re-election which Fujimori sought in 2000.   When this relationship was uncovered, Peruvian justice sent many of those involved to prison, whilst others fled the country. These events completely reconfigured the media market.


A complex market

Investigating the media market in Peru is complex and difficult work because although there are government and academic studies, as well as reports from within the industry´s various sectors, there is no official census which identifies the exact number of printed and digital newspapers and television and radio stations.

However, there are estimates which are helpful.   In 2014, there were 125 traditional newspapers nationally and  101 digital newspapers (31% of which were based in Lima), according to estimates in the book published that year in Spain: Ciberperiodismo en Iberoamérica. The El Comercio Group owns 9 of the traditional newspapers and 13 of the online newspapers.

While this may seem a minor share, the estimates of circulation and readership at national level are much higher. 

There are only 6 television channels which broadcast free-to-air on VHF frequency: Latina, América Televisión, Panamericana Televisión, Tv Perú, ATV and NexTV.  This concentrates the ownership of more than 45% of the 1,686 television stations existing nationally, according to ConcorTv (consulting body of the Ministry of Transport and Communications). There are 5,257 radio stations.

Media advertising investment

In the last three years total advertising investment decreased from US$ 725 million in 2016 to US$668 in 2017. Last year only reached  US$620 million(some S/. 2077 million soles. Almost 50% is allocated to television, 11% to newspapers and magazines, 13% to radio and 18% to Internet. The market research company CPI estimated that in 2000, advertising investment totaled US$500 million (some 1.622 million soles).

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