Accountability systems

Media and advertising agencies are private companies that only account to stakeholders or owners but not to the state. However, in Nicaragua there are two government institutions that monitor and regulate media operations: One is responsible for the technical matters and the other for administrative issues.

Technical standards are regulated and supervised annually by the Instituto Nicaragüense de Telecomunicaciones y Correos (Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Postal Services - TELCOR), which is in charge of issuing and eventually suspend licenses that allow media to operate. Those interested in having a means of communication, have to request TELCOR an operating license, which is provided as long as there is availability in the radio frequencies or in the TV band. As of 2019, there are no more frequencies available for Managua. Media have to pay a yearly operations fee to TELCOR, which has the power to withdraw a license when it considers that the media does not fulfill the functions for which it was created.

The other institution that regulates media is the Dirección General de Ingresos (General Income Directorate - DGI) which supervises the timely tax remittance of media or otherwise orders retaliation through TELCOR. The DGI supervises the media every 3 months or annually to report on their income and expenses, so that they present their financial statements and determine whether or not they are complying with their taxes. Media that fail to comply with tax payments are temporarily or definitively closed depending on the severity of the case.