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Riga

One of the top countries exercises free press in the region. The main leading media is the television here. Although the print media has been a respected one for a long time. Regardless of its history, Latvian media showed remarkable ability to adapt to a completely new democratic system with all the rules to follow and establish the sector as having freedom of speech, press, and expression. Over time, the print media started to decline in numbers over the course of 2007 to 2013. One of the factors that may have also contributed to this phenomenon is the increase of VAT on print media over the years. There are different media publishing and broadcasting in both Latvian and also Russian languages. Also, the press business started to be less intriguing of the venture to invest in since the economic crisis began for the country. A lot of magazines have ceased to exist as a result. Among all the 69 or so radio stations, almost every one of them seems to have a similar characteristic, that they play music, weather report, and some brief discussion. It is made such so that audiences can switch from station to station, in an attempt that it might increase advertisement revenue. One interesting phenomenon is that the radio stations are also available to access by their websites too. As of 2015, almost 95 percent of the population have access to television. According to statistics, the average person spent quite a lot of time every day watching the television. There have been incidents that the state suspected the channel owned by Russian companies are broadcasting contents that may incite conflict among the Latvian population and try to cause ethnic hate or call to war. This cause a serious friction between the two countries and Latvian authorities became very strict towards other Russian owned media outlets in the country. There have also been other incidents where the government suspected journalists and handled the situation poorly, resulting in a friction between the government and the journalists’ association. Although there are newspapers that are owned by members of political parties, they seem hardly to interfere with the content or don’t pursue a political interest for any party in the content of the papers.

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