In 1997, there were about 675,000 main telephone lines in use throughout the country. The government's Radio Baghdad transmits in Arabic from 39 transmitters, and also has English, Kurdish, and some other foreign-language broadcasts. As of 1998 there were 14 AM and 51 FM radio station and 13 governmentoperated television stations. In 2000, there were 222 radios and 83 television sets per 1,000 population. In 2001, there were 12,500 Internet subscribers served by one service provider. Access is made primarily through Internet cafés.
All communications media are owned and controlled by the government, and criticism of government policies is not permitted. Newspapers that failed to observe strict government censorship have been suspended. The two leading Arabic newspapers in 2002 were Al-Thawra ( The Revolution , circulation 250,000) and Al-Jumhuriyah ( The Republic, 150,000); the only English-language daily was the state-sponsored Baghdad Observer (22,000).