Journalists face legal sanctions as well as hostility from government figures, says US-based NGO Freedom House.
Defamation is a criminal offence. A 2013 Communications Law provides for regulation of editorial content and gives officials the power to sanction media outlets.
Reporters Without Borders says media freedom declined under the decade-long presidency of Rafael Correa (2007-2017). After taking office, his successor Lenin Moreno promised a new era of press freedom.
Most media are privately-run. Ownership is highly concentrated.
Radio is an important medium; there are hundreds of stations, some broadcasting in indigenous languages. Soap operas and US series are staple fare on TV.
There were 13.5 million internet users by 2017, around 80% of the population (Internetworldstats.com). The government has used a copyright law to censor critical online content, says Freedom House.