Press freedom is protected by the constitution and journalists work in relatively safe conditions compared with their peers in neighbouring countries, says Freedom House.
But media workers risk legal action when they criticise government policy or cover corruption, Reporters Without Borders says.
Most media outlets are privately-owned. Corporacion Medcom operates the leading TV stations. There are around 100 radio stations and several TV networks.
Around 2.8 million Panamanians, or 69% of the population, were online by 2017 (Internetworldstats). There are 1.7 million Facebook users. Internet access is unrestricted, says Freedom House.