Peru and the media


There are many poor-quality newspapers and magazines available on the streets of Lima and throughout the rest of Peru. Many of the newspapers stick mainly to sex and sport, while magazines tend to focus on terror and violence and the frequent deaths caused by major traffic accidents. The two most established (and establishment) daily newspapers are El Comercio and Expreso; the latter devoting vast amounts of space to anti-Communist propaganda. El Comercio ( is much more balanced but still tends to toe the political party of the day’s line. El Comercio ‘s daily Seccion C also has the most comprehensive cultural listings of any paper – good for just about everything going on in Lima. In addition, there’s the sensationalist tabloid La Republica, which takes a middle-of-the-road to liberal approach to politics; and Cambio provides interesting tabloid reading. One of the better weekly magazines is the fairly liberal Caretas, generally offering mildly critical support to whichever government happens to be in power. There’s one environmental and travel magazine – Rumbos – which publishes articles in both Spanish and English and has excellent photographic features.
The Cusco-based weekly, New World News, is an excellent English-language newspaper , available weekly across Peru in the major cities. It reports on issues relevant to tourism plus news around South America and world issues. The business weekly Lima Herald, also in English, can be bought in Lima Centro and sporadically in Cusco. For more serious, in-depth coverage, the monthly Andean Report, is particularly good on Peruvian and Andean political and economic issues.
International newspapers are fairly hard to come by; your best bet for English papers is to go to the Embassy in Lima, which has a selection of one- to two-week old papers, such as The Times and Independent for reference only. US papers are easier to find; the bookstalls around Plaza San Martin in Lima Centro and those along Avenida Larco and Diagonal in Miraflores sell the Miami Herald, the Herald Tribune, Newsweek and Time magazine, but even these are likely to be four or five days old. If you’re not moving around too much, consider having The Guardian Weekly, which has comprehensive international coverage, sent to you poste restante.
Peruvians watch a lot of television – mostly soccer and soap operas, though TV is also a main source of news. Many programmes come from Mexico, Brazil and the US ( The Flintstones and Bewitched are perennial favourites), with occasional eccentric selections from elsewhere and a growing presence of manga-style cartoons. There are nine main terrestial channels, of which channels 7 and 13 show marginally better quality programmes. Panamericana is Peru’s top station, but all the channels are crammed with adverts.
Cable and, even more so, satellite channels are increasingly forming an important part of Peru’s media. Partly due to the fact that it can be received in even the remotest of settlements and partly because it is beyond the control of any government or other censorship, satellite TV appears set to dominate the media scene and the world view of the nation’s youth.
If you have a radio you can pick up the BBC World Service at most hours of the day – frequencies shift around on the 19m, 25m and 49m short-wave bands; for a schedule of programmes, contact the British Council in Lima. The Voice of America is also constantly available on short wave. The radio station Sol Armonia is dedicated to classical music on FM89. Also, the RPP (Radio Programmes del Peru) on FM 89.7 has 24-hour bulletins
Alternatively, you can tune in to an incredible mess of Peruvian stations , nearly all of which are music and advertisement based. International pop, salsa and other Latin pop can be picked up most times of day and night all along the FM wave band, while traditional Peruvian and Andean folk music can usually be found all over the AM dial. Radio Miraflores (96FM) is one of the best, playing mainly disco and new US/British rock, though also with a good jazz programme on Sunday evenings and an excellent news summary every morning from 7 to 9am. Radio Cien (100FM) has the occasional programme in English (on Sunday mornings, for example).

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