English language, or non-Spanish, magazines and newspapers are hard to find in Peru; there are some sold around El Haiti Café in Miraflores, Lima, and they can occasionally be found in airports or bookshops in Cusco. BBC World Service and VOA can be picked up if you have the right receiver.
There are many poor-quality newspapers and magazines available on the streets of Lima and throughout the rest of Peru. Many of the newspapers stick mainly to sex and sport, while magazines tend to focus on terrorism, violence and the frequent deaths caused by major traffic accidents. Meanwhile, many get their news and information from television and radio, where you also have to wade through the panoply of entertainment-orientated options.
Newspapers and magazines
The two most established (and establishment) daily newspapers are El Comercio (elcomercio.com.pe) and Expreso (expreso.com.pe), the latter having traditionally devoted vast amounts of space to anti-Communist propaganda. El Comercio is much more balanced but still tends to toe the political party of the day’s line. El Comercio’s daily Seccion C also has the most comprehensive cultural listings of any paper – good for just about everything going on in Lima. In addition, there’s the sensationalist tabloid La República (larepublica.com.pe), which takes a middle-of-the-road to liberal approach to politics; and Diario Ojo, which provides interesting tabloid reading.
International newspapers are fairly hard to come by; your best bet for English papers is to go to the British Embassy in Lima, which has a selection of one- to two-week-old papers, such as The Times and The Independent, for reference only. US papers are easier to find; the bookstalls around Plaza San Martín in Lima Centro and those along Avenida Larco and Diagonal in Miraflores sell The Miami Herald, the International Herald Tribune, and Newsweek and Time magazines, but even these are likely to be four or five days old.
One of the better weekly magazines is the fairly liberal Caretas, generally offering mildly critical support to whichever government happens to be in power. There’s one environmental and travel magazine – Rumbos (rumbosperu.com) – which publishes articles in both Spanish and English and has excellent photographic features.
Television and radio
Peruvians watch a lot of television – mostly football and soap operas, though TV is also a main source of news. Many programmes come from Mexico, Brazil and the US, with occasional eccentric selections from elsewhere and a growing presence of manga-style cartoons. There are nine main terrestrial channels, of which channels 7 and 13 show marginally better quality programmes. Cable and satellite TV is increasingly forming an important part of Peru’s media, partly due to the fact that it can be received in even the remotest of settlements.
Alternatively, you can tune in to Peruvian radio stations, nearly all of which play music and are crammed with adverts. International pop, salsa and other Latin pop can be picked up most times of the day and night all along the FM wave band, while traditional Peruvian and Andean folk music can usually be found all over the AM dial. Radio Miraflores (96FM) is one of the best stations, playing mainly disco and new US/British rock, though also with a good jazz programme on Sunday evenings and an excellent news summary every morning (7–9am).