Egypt - Media
Telephone, telegraph, radio, and television services are operated by the state-owned Telecommunication Organization. There were an estimated 3.9 million mainline telephones in use in 1998; an additional 380,000 cellular phones were in use in 1999. As of 1999, there were 57 AM and 14 FM radio stations and 42 television stations, broadcasting mostly in Arabic. In 2000, there were 339 radios and 189 television sets for every 1,000 people. In 2000, Internet access was available through 50 Internet service providers, serving 300,000 users.
The two leading newspapers, with their estimated 2002 daily circulations, are Al-Ahram ( The Pyramid ; 900,000) and Al-Akhbar ( The News ; 780,000). Al-Jumhuriyah ( The Republic ; 900,000) is the official publication of the government; Al-Ahram is the unofficial publication. The leading evening paper is Al-Misa'a (405,000). There is also an English-language newspaper, the Egyptian Gazette (40,000). Arev is a daily Armenian paper. There are two weekly Greek publications, Phos (20,000) and Tachydromos-Egyptos (2,000). Le Journal D'Egypte (weekly, 72,000) and La Reforme (daily) are the leading French publications.
On 23 May 1960, all Egyptian newspapers were nationalized and subjected to censorship. President Sadat ended formal press censorship in 1974, but the following year he set up a government council to supervise the newspapers. In 1981, President Mubarak revoked the ban on opposition newspapers, but the press remains sensitive to the wishes of the government. The Middle East News Agency is under the supervision of the information section of the Ministry of National Guidance. The constitution does provide for freedom of speech and press, though the government exercises control through media ownership, oversight, and a monopoly on resources such as newsprint.