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Spain: Media System

Carlos Barrera

Subject Geography
Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Media Studies » Media System

Place Iberia » Spain

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Spain had in 2008 a population of 45.9 million inhabitants and was ninth in world ranking in GDP. Just after Greece and Portugal, it became the third Mediterranean country in Europe to re-establish a democratic system in the early 1970s. The new regime after the death of the dictator General Francisco Franco in 1975 brought about the restoration of the monarchy and the creation of a parliamentary system, along with a gradual devolution of power to the 17 regions, which turned Spain into a quasi-federal state. The most important international recognition of the new Spanish democracy came from its admission as a new member of the European Union in 1986. From the media perspective, the transition to democracy had already begun with a new press law in 1966. The press, subjected until then to strong censorship, was granted broader margins of freedom, so that some newspapers and magazines were able to reflect varying degrees of criticism or reticence about the last governments of the dictatorship. Some legal measures concerning the media accompanied the political transition. In April 1977, a decree suppressed government powers to close and seize newspapers. In October 1977, another decree broke the monopoly of public radio on the broadcasting of home political news. Article 20 of the Constitution, approved in December 1978, established “the right to freely communicate or receive truthful ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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