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Latvia: Mass Media
Country Study > Chapter 5 > Government and Politics > Mass Media


Beginning in 1985, Gorbachev's policy of glasnost gave newspaper and magazine editors in Latvia and other republics of the Soviet Union unprecedented opportunities to publish information on a wide range of formerly proscribed subjects, including crime, illegal drugs, occupational injuries, and environmental issues. Thus, an article published in October 1986 in the Latvian literary journal Literatura un Maksla, discussing the environmental impact of a new hydroelectric station that was to be built on the Daugava River, helped to arouse so much public opposition that a decision was made by the Soviet government in 1987 to abandon the project.

In the early 1990s, as the transition to a market-oriented economy began and competition intensified, both the circulation and the content of newspapers and magazines changed. Rising production costs caused subscription rates and newsstand prices to increase, and sales declined steadily. Nevertheless, in 1995 Latvia had a daily newspaper circulation rate of 1,377 per 1,000 population, compared with 524 per 1,000 population in Finland, 402 per 1,000 population in Germany, and 250 per 1,000 population in the United States. More than 200 newspapers and 180 magazines were in circulation.

Foreign Relations

Data as of January 1995

Last Updated: January 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Latvia was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Latvia Main Page Country Studies Main Page

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