Uruguay - Media

The state owns the telegraph and telephone services. In 2001, there were 929,141 mainline telephones, most of them in the metropolitan Montevideo area. The same year, there were about 350,000 cellular phones in use nationwide.

As of 2001, Uruguay had 91 AM and 149 FM radio stations and 20 television stations; color television broadcasting was introduced in 1981. In 2000 there were 603 radios and 530 television sets for every 1,000 people. In 2001, there were 14 Internet service providers serving 370,000 subscribers.

In 2002 there were 13 daily newspapers in Montevideo. The leading papers, with their 2002 circulations (unless otherwise noted) as follows:


El Diario 170,000 (1999 est)
El País 100,000
La Mañana 40,000
Últimas Noticias 25,000
El Diario Espanol 20,000

The first newspaper in the Banda Oriental was the Southern Star, published by the British in 1807 during their brief occupation of Montevideo. El Día, founded by José Batlle y Ordóñez in 1886, helped lay the foundation for the social reforms of the first two decades of the 20th century. Under the military regime established in 1973, periodicals were forbidden to report on internal security matters. Censorship was imposed, and more than 30 newspapers and periodicals were closed down; many newspapers were harassed with suspensions of one day or more. In November 1974, Marcha, a weekly read throughout Latin America and Uruguay's last remaining opposition periodical, was shut down. Press censorship was relaxed in the late 1970s, but the military government still reserved the right to detain and question editors and reporters and to suspend publication for four or more issues. Press freedom was restored in 1985.

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