Regulatory authorities

As already mentioned, both the structure of the Honduran mass media system and the performance of the professional journalist are deeply influenced by government interventions. Decree 185-95, created both the Framework Law on the Telecommunications Sector (LMTH) and Conatel as the regulatory body of telecommunications whether radio, television, Internet. Conatel is a collegiate body of five members, three president commissioners, and two alternate commissioners. The directory is appointed directly from the executive branch.

Another important feature to analyse is the creation of the Technology and Information Department of Conatel, which includes among its aims:

  • [To favour] the expansion and spread of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), thereby reducing the digital divide, complying with and enforcing all programs and projects aimed at the development of Information and Communication Technologies.
  • [To make] available to the different productive sectors the technological tools necessary for their growth, to contribute to the integral and sustainable development of Honduras.
  • [To manage] with private entities, civil society, non-governmental organisations, local governments and all those directly involved with the ICT sector, strategic alliances that foster the development and penetration of ICT in the Honduran population” (Comunicaciones, 2014)

In Honduras, there is no other institution dedicated to regulating the contents of the media. In spite of the fact that the Ministry of the Interior and Justice has been assigned the task of editing and categorising contents in cinema, radio and television, in practice it rarely does. Censorship is usually reserved for moral and/or religious issues, rather than for themes of graphic violence. Even though the Honduran state is secular, the historical influence of the church is quite significant and profound in the consciousness of society. This influence is particularly significant in the inner regions of the country, especially in the media through censorship on moral issues and intervention in issues such as sexual diversity and abortion, among others.