Spain - Media

The government owns, operates, or supervises all internal telephone, telegraph, and radio and television service. Postal and telegraph facilities are provided by the Mail and Telecommunications Service. The National Telephone Co., an autonomous enterprise, operated 17 million main line telephones in 1999 with an additional 8.3 million mobile cellular phones in use. As of 1998, radio transmissions were broadcast over 208 AM and 715 FM stations by four government and six private networks, and four state-owned television networks. In 1995, there were 224 television stations. In 2000, there were about 333 radios and 591 television sets for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were about 143 personal computers in use for every 1,000 people, with 56 Internet service providers serving 7.38 million people in 2001.

Sunday newspaper editions have become increasingly common, with circulations often double the weekday runs. English-language papers are now printed in Madrid and Palma de Mallorca. There are also over 3,000 magazines, bulletins, and journals. Formerly, the Falange published the newspapers in all provincial capitals and controlled some 35% of the total national circulation; censorship was obligatory. In 1966, a new press law abolished censorship but established stiff penalties for editors who published news "contrary to the principles of the national interest"; offending newspapers could be seized.

The leading Spanish dailies, with 2002 weekday circulations, include the following:


Marca Madrid 474,400
El País Madrid 413,000
El Periódico de Cataluña Barcelona 380,000
ABC Madrid and Sevilla 334,700
El Mundo Madrid 229,000
La Vanguardia Barcelona 208,000
Diario 16 Madrid 178,960

The 1978 constitution guarantees freedom of the press, and the government is said to uphold this freedom in practice.

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