A diverse media sector

Latvia’s journalists encounter a variety of restrictions and hardships, but its media sector is also the most diverse in terms of ownership among the three Baltic countries. Recently, the National Media Regulator, which oversees public media, undermined the independence of Latvian public broadcasting when it dismissed its board members without substantial ground. The most prominent recent case of media owners intervening in the editorial process - an argument over major business newspaper’s Dienas Bizness biased elections coverage - lead to journalist’s Sandra Diedziņa resignation. Politicians suing individual journalists or media is business as usual, and despite the courts mostly ruling in journalists’ favour, the number of verbal attacks and attacks against journalists on social media is increasing. Moreover, publicity hungry politicians often abuse defamation claims against journalists. Defamation is a criminal offence and therefore it has to be investigated by the police, a process which usually strips journalists of time and resources. The Latvian government tends to ban or restrict Kremlin controlled media. However, several significant dissident Russian outlets, which had to move from Moscow to escape prosecution and censorship are now enjoying press freedom in Latvia.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



24 in 2018

Global score


19.63 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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