Urban Nicaragua Communication Profile

country overview

Mobile Communications: Nicaragua, a country with lowest teledensity, including mobile and fixed telephony, in Latin America after Haiti, is catching the mobile bug.

Internet: Nicaragua's rate of internet penetration was only 0.43 per 100 inhabitants, the lowest rate in Central America in 2008. In urban areas where this quantitative study was conducted, only 7 percent of respondents said they had web access in their homes.

Radio: Radio plays a key role in informing the general public. In urban areas, household access to radio is nearly universal. The radio market has over 200 registered stations, including 14 community radio stations.

Television: Television is the communication medium of choice in urban Nicaragua, leading all other media formats in general use and as a source for news and information. Nicaraguans are offered a wide range of national and local television channels.

Newspaper: Even though newspapers are not as popular as television or radio, they are important sources for news and information for much of urban Nicaragua. 

Media Environment: The Nicaraguan constitution provides for freedom of the press. However, it also allows for some forms of state control, and observers note a considerably deterioration in the media environment over the past few years.
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articles in focus

New Media: Nicaragua has one of the lowest per capita income levels in the Latin American region, and consequently new media and ICT use is still in its nascent stages.

Public Opinion on Media and Governance:
Urban Nicaraguans showed varying levels of trust in government institutions, while they voiced strong support for democracy.

media outlet matrix

Most Popular Radio Stations

Most Popular TV Stations

Most Popular Newspapers
Most Popular Websites

communication Habits: Demographic analysis

Older age groups are on par with youth in use and access for television and radio but fall behind in terms of
new media use and access.
Access to traditional media devices is nearly universal among all age groups.
However, young adults are much more likely to use a mobile phone or access the internet.

Education and income are intertwining factors that significantly affect household technology access. Access
differences between income groups (Chart 1) possess similar patterns to those that exist between education
groups. Home ICT access increases with education and income levels, particularly for ICTs that require a
regular income commitment such as cable TV, internet, and land lines.

While household access seems equitable for both men and women, periodic use shows traces of a gender
divide, especially for new media and ICTs
Household access for devices such as televisions, landlines,
mobile phones and radios was nearly equal for men and women in urban Nicaragua. However, there was
a distinct gender disparity for access to computers and MP3/I-Pods, with men in the lead (Chart 1).
                           Internet connections at home were still very rare for both men and women.