Bolivia has a large number of radio and TV stations broadcasting with private media outlets dominating. There has been a recent, rapid growth of state-owned media, including a network of community radios. State-owned and private radio and TV stations generally operate freely, although both pro-government and anti-government groups have attacked media outlets in response to their reporting (2010).
The Bolivian National Telecommunications Company was privatized in 1995 but re-nationalized in 2007; the primary trunk system is being expanded and employs digital microwave radio relay; some areas are served by fiber-optic cable; system operations, reliability, and coverage have steadily improved. Most telephones are concentrated in La Paz, Santa Cruz, and other capital cities; mobile-cellular telephone use expanding rapidly and, in 2011, teledensity reached about 80 per 100 persons.
There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet. The Bolivian constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press. Although the government generally respects these rights, in at least two cases in 2012, the government used the anti-racism law to restrict both rights. Some senior government officials also verbally harassed members of the press corps. Bolivian law prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence and the government generally respects these prohibitions, but there have been allegations that the government does not always respect the law. Defamation remains a criminal offence.
Concerns were raised over a 2010 anti-discrimination law. Its "far-reaching and vague" language could be used to curb and punish legitimate journalism, warned the Committee to Protect Journalists.
On 23 October 2012, the Constitutional Court struck down the libel law that allowed for detention of one month to four years for a person found guilty of insulting, defaming, or slandering public officials.