The Uruguayan political climate encourages constructive and inclusive dialogue on the media’s role in national life.
Although the media landscape is rather pluralistic in Uruguay, it is still dominated by three major companies: Villar/De Feo, Canal 10; Romay, Canal 4; and Cardoso/Scheck, Canal 12.
After being led for 15 years by a coalition of left-wing parties grouped into the Frente Amplio (Broad Front), Uruguay is now governed by conservative Luis Lacalle Pou, who was inaugurated in March 2020. Recent years have seen many cases of political pressure – involving members of the presidential staff – against journalists who have covered controversial issues.
Decriminalization of press law violations, regulation of community radio, and open information access provide a suitable work environment for journalists in Uruguay. A broadcast law, adopted in December 2014, favors media pluralism. The law also provides for creation of a broadcast communications council independent of the executive branch.
The Uruguayan economy depends strongly on those of its neighbors, Brazil and Argentina. Natural resources are quite limited, especially because of the country’s small size. The service sector accounts for 60.9% of GDP, and employs 73.3% of the working population, largely in finance and tourism.
In recent years, despite a largely favorable professional environment, many investigative journalists have been subjected to threats, intimidation, and legal pressure.