Keeping up with the news in Panama

Hello everyone,

Living in Panama provides countless occasions to browse local newspapers, listen to local radio stations or watch local TV shows. As everywhere else in the world, local media play a key role in informing the public.

What are the major media in Panama? Which one do you use on a regular basis?

How do you keep up with international issues (newspapers, radio, TV, Internet)?

Thank you in advance!


Every morning I go online and read News Room Panama at

Its coverage is limited, but it has interesting news stories about Panama in English.

Otherwise, I read U.S., and Canadian newspapers online and CNN along with Yahoo News to keep up with North American and world news.

Steven Rich, MBA

There are several serious newspapers here. The two I have read regularly in the past are La Prensa and Panama America, both in Spanish. They are controlled by two men who hate each other and it is easy to see which is which by the tone and the things reported. Panama America is controlled by Ricardo Martinelli, the ex president who is now in exile and may be extradited for various crimes but you will never learn of this by reading that newspaper. La Prensa keeps up a constant drumbeat of anti-Martinelli diatribe. We now favor La Prensa. I read the financial page mostly to see what ingenious methods the Fed is now employing to bring the dollar in for the softest possible landing, but also the foreign news page to see when the Pentagon is planning its next war and who this week's enemy no. 1 is. For those of the  non-Anglo-Saxon persuasion, you can also get foreign cable channels here in various languages including French (TV 5), German (Deutsche Welle), Portuguese (Brazil's Globo), Gallician (Galicia. It is a Spanish dialect that is mostly intelligible if you understand Spanish), Italian (RAI) and Japanese (NHK). The local Chinese also mostly have a Chinese channel. So you have a whole host of options for getting your propaganda about both the world at large and Panama. The internet is the option of choice for those excentrics who wish to know what is actually going on.

News? Who wants to know the news? Blech. I came here to get away from it and happily bury my head in the sand of my new country.  I do have a couple sources of local news that I check on occasionally just to know what is going on around David and Chiriqui. As for the rest of the news, there isn't anything I can do about any of it except get riled up, so I try to avoid as much of it as I can (difficult if you have internet and a Facebook account)

A lady told me recently that she doesn't like history.
I said: "But you're living it, whether you like it or not."
History is the news, which is a daily installment of history. It is you and me and the future of us and our families. But you have to know enough in order to interpret it. Once you know enough to interpret it, you will know what to do about it, possibly without getting riled up.
To give you an example, I learned a long time ago that international trade treaties are great for big business but raise prices for us commoners (I recommend the book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins). So with this in mind, I read the financial pages as often as possible. One morning years ago, I saw the headline: Panama signs a trade treaty with the EU for seafood. I said to myself "the price of seafood will go up soon."
If I recall correctly, the very next day, I priced corvina, my favorite fish and found that the price had doubled to about $5/lb. What did I do about it?
Two things:
1--I stopped buying corvina
2--I got riled up.
But since we are here to talk about Panama, here is a piece of information that may save you some hassle:
Whenever you see "fish" listed on the menu without specification of the species, 99% of the time, it is tilapia or another inferior fish. Now some people like tilapia but quite often it comes from China and the breeding conditions there are horrible. I can explain further but you had best just believe it because the description will spoil your next meal.
So I just don't order the generic "fish." But it gets worse. I once went with my family to Fudruckers at Metromall in Brisas. Corvina sandwiches were on the menu at an affordable price and it occurred to me that this was too good to be true. But since the word "corvina" was actually printed there and not just the word "pescado," I figured they wouldn't dare lie like that and I ordered the sandwich.
It turned out to be tilapia (I can tell the difference). I gave the people at the counter a good tongue lashing and I suppose they never tried that stunt again. But I will never know because I will never go back.

Is there anything really "new" or "news" under the sun? 
Them that's got shall get.  The rich get richer no matter where you go or live.  Power wants more power and money wants more money. 
Does it hurt when you do that? Then don't do that.  Is the price of XYZ going too high? Then don't buy it.
I've had a life time of getting riled up over the "news" and I'm tired of it. 
There really does come a time in life when you know enough IS enough and just want a little peace, some pretty music and an occasional Carona on the beach with a friend or two.
Save the impassioned, riled up "news" critiques.  I'm afraid its a waste of time.

you are right they are just spinning our minds
just lay back observe and enjoy the show from as far as possible

Well - the news stinks. Just use it as an opportunity- I do.

That would be true if there was nothing we could do about the trends and the future. But is there really? Are humans that incapable of acting on their environment? Or is it that they can't identify the problems? Not reading the news is a great way to avoid knowing what the causes of those problems are, and engaging with your environment. It is not a question of "universal truths" such as the rich getting richer and you getting poorer. There are ways to find out why this trend is getting worse thanks to unemployment. Is capitalism failing? Or is the Fed intervening in ways that harm us? We live in a nuclear age of escalating confrontation, with NATO sending a record no. of troops to the Russian border. One side is provoking, but which is it? If it is our side, then we can point that out to others and change our voting habits. On the other hand, the news is always a propaganda effort to support the next war. Those who swallow it without thinking and without educating themselves about the other side, the alternative view, are the ones who allow it to happen. So yes, reading the news is a hazardous undertaking and must be done with a great deal of skepticism. For example, Western news tells us that Assad is responsible for all the deaths in Syria. Yet a recent interview with a local doctor in Syria disclosed that the US-backed rebels are doing most of the killing. Both sides are providing clues. If you only have Western media available, maybe it is best not to read the news and just enjoy the sun and the Corona on the beach. But fortunately, we have alternatives like RT and Russia Insider. You now can read both sides and compare. You have a functioning mind. Go ahead and use it. Your teeth won't fall out (at least not from reading).

After you read and inform yourself, then what? I've tried to save the world, or at least my little corner of it for most of my life. Now I want to retire and focus more inward.
Who is to say how a man is to spend his day?
Teeth? Stress is bad for your immune system, which affects dental health.... given enough time and trouble who knows what could happen :D

Hi Krist,
Thanks for helping save the world for us. Your contribution did not go unappreciated. You may think you did it all for nothing, but all those wars you helped prevent and all those species you helped save from extinction are appreciated. My daughter is a vegan and her eating habits have probably already saved the lives of several pigs and steers.
Of course, as I recall, Priscilla, the person who started this thread, was asking how to keep abreast of world events, not whether she should do so or not. I contributed my 2 cents and so did others, like yourself. But think about it, sharing information and opinions, like we are doing -- including you, is all about INPUT, the same as reading and listening to news.
Anyway, my wife also thinks that every time I feel fatigued or get upset, it's because I worry about the world situation too much. Who knows? Maybe my teeth will fall out from all the stress after all. Ya think?
Thanks for sharing your opinion.
Have a good -- and relaxing -- day! :)

It is very easy to keep oneself informed in Panama.  I have a paper subscription to Panama America which arrives at my door at about 6:00 am every day. This and Channels 2 and 13 (CableOnda) are good for covering the local stuff, in Spanish. For international news, documentaries etc. Al Jazeera, CNN and BBC are excellent. For business news Fox Business and Bloomberg channels are my choices. Channel 47 on CableOnda is a Spanish Language channel that gives excellent world news.

I have online subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Forgive me, but I am a news and current affairs junkie!!!

In some respects, the available information coverage, in Panama, is better than in the U.S.

I am not joking!!!!!


But, but, but... those news outlets are so anti-Establishment and politically incorrect, aren't they?! :)

You have to make your own judgement.

Yes, but you need varied input, from the msm, the alternate news and foreign news sites. Trying to get a well rounded picture from the mainstream Anglo-Saxon news is like wearing dark lenses with someone else's prescription to paint the Mona Lisa on your fingernail. It was not until I read an interview with the top Chinese monetary expert that I found out that there are yuan (RMB) clearing  houses all over Europe, Asia and Africa. This means that there is a major dedollarization effort in Asia and we are liable to feel the effects sooner or later. This interview did not appear in any English language site, either alternative or msm.

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