Congo, Republic of the (ROC) - Media



National and international communications are state owned and operated. In 1997, there were about 22,000 main line telephones in service, with an additional 250,000 cellular phones in use in 2001. In 2001, there were six radio stations. One television station was reported in 2002. Radio Brazzaville broadcasts in French and local languages. The national television network began operations in 1963; a satellite communications station was inaugurated at Brazzaville in 1978. There are telecasts in French, Kikongo, and Lingala. In 2000, there were 123 radios and 13 television sets for every 1,000 people. Internet access is limited, with only one Internet Service Provider serving 500 people in 2000.

In 2002, there were five daily newspapers, all published in Brazzaville: Mweti, published by the government information ministry (2002 circulation, 7,000); ACI (Daily News Bulletin, circulation 1,000); Courrier d'Afrique; Journal de Brazzaville; and Journal Official de la Republique du Congo. There are also a few periodicals and magazines, the most popular among them being La Semaine Africaine, published by the Catholic Church, with a 1995 circulation of 8,000.

Though the constitution provides for free expression and a free press, the government retains a monopoly over radio and television. Plans for an independent council to safeguard freedom of speech and the press had yet to be established by the end of 1996.

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