Eritrea - Media

As of 2001, there were 30,000 main line telephones in use nationwide. Cellular service was introduced the same year, but subscription figures have not been available. At the end of 2001, the government controlled all nonreligious media, including one radio station, one television station and 3 newspapers. Religious media are prohibited from reporting on political news and events. Television broadcasts are Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings in Tigrinya and Arabic languages. Dimtsi Hafash radio broadcasts daily in various local languages. In 2000, there were 444 radios and 26 television sets fore every 1,000 people. Internet access is limited, with only four service providers serving 12,000 people in 2001.

Though press laws allow for publication of privately owned newspapers, there are only two newspaper printing presses in the country, and the government owns one of them. In 2001 there were eight independent newspapers published once or twice a week. Setit had the largest circulation at 20,000. The government-owned daily, Asmara Herbet , is published in Arabic and Tigrinya and had a 2002 circulation of 4,000. Quotidiano Eritreo is a daily Italian newspaper.

The constitution approved in 1997 provides for free speech and a free press, allowing for private ownership of newspapers but not broadcast media.

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