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Population: 34 million
Internet penetration: 87%
17th June 2024

Mainstream media have been badly affected by the economic downturn with falling advertising revenue, leading to layoffs and cost-cutting. But consumption of news remains steady in a year that was marked by violent protests and revelations about the judicial system being weaponised against journalists.

After a troubled few years for Peru, in which a constitutional upheaval saw the country’s first female president, Dina Boluarte, ascend to power, only to face violent protests which were put down even more violently – 49 people were killed by the police and army – there is at last a period of relative calm. The superiority of Congress has been re-established, even though acceptance rates are still in single digits.

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The fallout from these events continues, however, with a widely held sense of injustice for those killed in the protests. There is also economic unease due to recession and high unemployment.

At the same time the press has found itself the target of judicial harassment which, according to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights1 and the National Association of Journalists,2 has increased year on year. Connections were exposed between the office of the attorney general, Patricia Benavides, and political and religious organisations that have been pursuing prosecution for investigative journalist Paola Ugaz. She, with other reporters, exposed sexual harassment and abuse inside Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, a Catholic religious organisation. Two other journalists, Juan Carlos Tafur from digital investigative site and César Romero of La República, who were suspected of having investigated Benavides’s educational record, became subjects of police surveillance. More widely, journalists reported an increase in harassment from local and national government officials and their agencies, even citing instances of official social media accounts being used to discredit reports.

Online investigative outlet IDL-Reporteros won the two most important journalism awards in the country for their work piecing together multiple video sources and geolocation to show that many of the 49 victims of the protests had not been taking part and were unarmed. Some of them were children. The government still maintains the protesters were part of terrorist cells, though there is no evidence for this.

Mainstream media continue dealing with shrinking markets. The two largest media groups, El Comercio and Grupo La República, reported significant drops in advertising revenues in 2023. El Comercio had a 16.7% drop in revenues and an overall loss of more than US$19m, and laid off about 150 journalists and staff. More reductions may be in the pipeline and it’s reported that a further round of reorganisation is being considered, which could include selling off some non-key brands.3 On the other side, Grupo La República closed several regional branches and laid off about 200 journalists and employees at the end of the year.

This year, just over half (53%) of our survey respondents said they were extremely or very interested in news. This is a 6-point drop from last year and an 8-point drop from 2022. Even so, weekly news reach to major news brands has largely maintained last year’s levels.

However, there was an across-the-board drop in the use of social media for news compared to last year, with Facebook seeing the greatest decline (-13%), as parent company Meta has made it clear that it is less focused on promoting news content. Peru continues to be among the five countries in the report with the largest use of TikTok for all purposes (47%) as well as for news consumption (27%).

One beneficiary of this growth has been reporter Fernando Llanos who was laid off from broadcasters America Noticias and Canal N after a 15-year career. He turned to TikTok fulltime and in a matter of weeks had gained 700,000 followers for content that includes a daily 90-second newscast Las 5 Pepas de Llanos’ (Llanoss five scoops). Llanos seems to be monetising his TikTok account through LIVE Gifts, a programme that allows followers to send virtual gifts that can be turned into money. Our survey shows that that Peruvians consume more long- and short-form video than most other countries. Among the 95% of respondents who said they use videos for news, 85% said they watch at least one news item in short-form video each week, and 39% watch every day.

Finally, after 35 years, there was justice for the killing of journalist Hugo Bustíos, with the sentencing to 12 years’ imprisonment for former presidential candidate and retired army general Daniel Urresti, the last of a group to be convicted of his murder.

Lourdes M. Cueva Chacón
San Diego State University

Peru in previous reports: 2023 | 2022 | 2021


Changing media

There has been a slight recovery in print and TV as news sources, but use of online news sources has remained stagnant.

Pay for online news



Trust in news overall



The proportion that trusts ‘most news most of the time’ (35%) remains low by both global and regional standards. Many Peruvians see the media as not sufficiently independent from powerful business and political interests. However, some news brands with a long heritage, such as the largest broadcast network RPP Noticias and El Peruano, a paper first established by Simón Bolívar in 1825, are trusted by over 50% of our respondents.

RSF World Press Freedom Index


Score 47.76

Measure of press freedom from NGO Reporters Without Borders based on expert assessment. More at

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1 See report

2 See ANP.

3 See article

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