On 30 September 1964, the Algerian Press Service (established in 1961) was given a monopoly over the distribution of news items within Algeria. Until then, foreign press agencies were permitted to distribute information directly to their Algerian clients. As of 1999, President Bouteflika has maintained that the media should ultimately be at the service of the state. As such, radio and television remain under government control. Though there are independent newspapers, it is difficult for them to operate, since the government controls imports of paper and other equipment needed for printing.
As of 2002, there were five daily newspapers, published in Algiers, Oran, and Constantine:
|Al-Moudjahid (Algiers)||French and Arabic||392,000|
|An-Nasr (The Victory) (Algiers)||Arabic||340,000|
|Le Jeune Independent (Algiers)||French||NA|
Algeria had Arabic and French radio networks with an estimated total of 25 AM, 1 FM, and 8 shortwave radio stations in 1999 and a total of 46 television stations in 1995, all operated by the national television network. As of 2000, there were about 244 radios and 110 television sets for every 1,000 people. Two Internet service providers served about 180,000 customers in 2001. Telephones numbered 2.3 million main lines in 1998, with an additional 33,500 cellular subscribers recorded in 1999. Satellite, cable, and radiotelephone services link Algeria with most other parts of the world.
Though the Constitution ensures freedom of speech and press, a 1990 law restricts such speech in the name of national and domestic security. The government has broad powers to restrict information and take legal action against perceived threats to the state or public order.