The aim of this article is to analyze the role of the government in the evolution and development of print media in European Mediterranean countries. Specifically, it examines the cases of Portugal, Spain, Italy, and France. In this study, the State's influence on the development of media companies is approached from four different perspectives: censorship of the press, the control of the press in democratic regimes, government aid, and its limits on concentration of ownership. When focussing on the regulatory role of the State as a fundamental element in the development of the press, this article highlights that an historical turning point was the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of August 26, 1789, enacted at the beginning of the French Revolution. This established a mandate to ensure and regulate freedom of information by law, which has always prevailed in the spirit of the various regulatory measures in these countries.