It was written on 10 June 2016. The law and practice in Spain change all the time. Our guides are updated as frequently as possible - typically every three years - but may be out of date.
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This guide covers the various forms of media and press available on the Costa del Sol - both Spanish media and content from other countries.
One of the best ways to become integrated into the Costa del Sol is to consume the local media. It can help with your Spanish, keep you up-to-date on local happenings and events - and give you something to talk about in the local bar!
It's also pleasant to be able to read, listen to and watch media from your home country, or in your own language. You're likely to be able to do that in the Costa del Sol.
Spain has a reasonably good level of press freedom. It's guaranteed in Section 20 of the Spanish Constitution and is generally respected.
However, the economic crisis has seriously affected the media in Spain (see below) and organisations like the Open Societies Foundation are becoming increasingly concerned about the state of the press.
Freedom House gave Spain the following scores in press freedom criteria:
Spain ranked 34th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index 2016. Not a terrible score but, as the organisation pointed out, this ranking has fallen from 33rd in 2015. Reporters Without Borders explained:
A new information law (known as the “transparency” law) that took effect in late 2014 does not treat access to information as a fundamental right, exempts certain kinds of government information (such as internal communications) and has created a monitoring entity whose independence is not guaranteed. The economic crisis has hit the media hard and has accentuated the already very marked concentration of ownership. No fewer than 354 media outlets closed and 11,875 journalists lost their jobs from 2008 to 2014.
A decline in diversity is usually bad news for freedom of press in any country. It can also have adverse effects on the quality of reporting, as the pool of competition shrinks and journalists are more afraid to 'step out of line' and risk losing their job.
Spain's best-selling newspaper. Leans towards liberal.
Spain second-largest newspaper and its largest digital newspaper. Centre-right views.
The third in the Spanish trifecta of 'newspapers of record', ABC is a conservative newspaper with heavy coverage of art and culture.
The Spanish government's official gazette, this paper publishes laws and official information from the Spanish authorities. This newspaper is not published on a Sunday.
With a readership of over 2.5million, this football-heavy daily newspaper is one of the most popular publications in Spain.
Marca's main competitor, with a readership of around 2.1million. Another football-focused paper, with the spotlight on Madrid's football teams.
Spain's oldest business newspaper, Cinco Días is published Monday-Friday.
A tabloid-format finance newspaper, with a section dedicated to Andalucia - and therefore plenty of news from the Costa del Sol.
A free, widely-circulated business newspaper.
|Malaga||El Correo de Andalucía|
|Malaga||La Opinión de Málaga|
|Marbella||Marbella 24 Horas (Digital)|
|Marbella||Marbella Express (three times weekly)|
Local and international news, event coverage and lifestyle content from Marbella, Sotogrande and other towns and villages in the Costa del Sol.
News for all of the Costas, with a dedicated page for the Costa del Sol.
News for Southern Spain, with plenty of focus on the Costa del Sol.
Expat news for Spain, with a dedicated section for Andalucia.
News from all the expat-heavy areas of Spain, with plenty from the Costa del Sol.
A lifestyle and news magazine for francophones on the Costa del Sol.
News for all of the Costas, with a dedicated page for the Costa del Sol.
News about Spain for a Russian audience - with plenty of information about the Costa del Sol
A group of bloggers keeping Russian expats up-to-date with events and information
News, jobs and classified advertisements for the Costa del Sol
News, opinion and real estate for the Costa del Sol
Costa del Sol news centering around Marbella
You'll be pleased to know that you don't need a television licence to watch TV in Spain.
Most people in Spain (around 98%) have access to Terrestrial Digital Television (TDT). It has around 35 channels - some produced by RDTVE, the state broadcaster, and some privately owned. It is comparable to Freeview in the UK in its scope.
TDT often broadcasts programmes from other countries, especially the US, but they may be dubbed in Spanish. To get around this, look through your TV menu - there should be an option to watch programmes in their original language. If you want to improve your Spanish, think about adding Spanish subtitles; or leaving the programme in Spanish and adding subtitles in your own language.
State-owned channel, broadcasting programmes for a general audience.
Entertainment shows, soap operas, sports etc.
Films, drama and news.
Many expats on the Costa del Sol have satellite television, as it allows them access to programmes from other European countries.
If you choose to go down this route, you'll probably have to install an ASTRA 2 satellite dish, which can be quite large - but once this is done, you won't have to pay monthly fees. You can, however, choose to subscribe to packages from other countries (i.e. Sky from the UK).
If installing a satellite dish is impractical, you may consider watching television through streaming services.
As well as the well-known options such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, you might want to look at websites like FilmOn.com, on which you can watch many programmes for free in Spain (legally!).
Spain's national public radio broadcaster is called Radio Nacional de España (RNE). It controls several national radio stations:
'General' broadcasting - mainly speech-based programmes.
Popular music (pop and rock), targeted to a young audience.
The news station. 24-hour broadcasting.
Classical music, with some coverage of concerts.
Music from the 70s onwards and celebrity guests.
A mix of music (classic and new) and chat.
A variety of music, guests and chat.
Information on news, sports and society.
Music from the 80s to today, along with entertainment programmes.
Have we missed out your favourite publication? Or would you like to share your opinion on the media in the Costa del Sol? Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consuming local media is a great way for an expat to get to grips with the Costa del Sol - and there's plenty to choose from, even if a lot of it may not be quite to your taste.
There is also a lot of media targeted at expats and, in this shrinking world, it is never too difficult to view and listen to media from 'back home'.
|Cultural Differences on the Costa del Sol
This guide is about some of the main cultural differences you're likely to come up against on the Costa del Sol.
|Guide to Spanish television and radio
A useful, brief guide from Expatica.
I hope you have found this guide useful. If you need any further help, please contact me.Francine Carrel 10 June 2016
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