Lesotho - Media

The government operates postal and telephone services; the exchange at Maseru has been automatic since 1963. An earth-satellite station was opened in 1986. There were 22,200 mainline telephones and 21,600 cellular phones in 2000.

Government-owned Radio Lesotho broadcasts in English and Sesotho. There is no local television station. As of 2001 there were four radio stations. In 2000, there were 53 radios and 16 television sets for every 1,000 people. Internet access is limited, with only one service provider serving 4,000 subscribers in 2000.

Mphatlalatsane is a daily Sesotho newspaper published in Maseru, with a 2002 circulation of 4,000. The Moeletsi oa Basotho is a weekly published by the Roman Catholic Church with a circulation of 20,000. The Lesotho Evangelical Church also publishes a newspaper, Leselinyana le Lesotho ( The Light of Lesotho ), which comes out every other week with a circulation of 15,000. Other newspapers, with their 2002 circulations, include Lentsoe la Basotho (14,000) and Lesotho Today (7,000), both weeklies published by the Department of Information; Mohlanka (6,000) ; Moafrika (3,500); Makatolle (2,000); and the English weekly, The Mirror (4,000).

The Constitution provides freedom of speech and the press, and the government is said to respect these rights in practice.

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