Liberia - Media

In 2000, there were about 6,700 mainline telephones in use, primarily in Monrovia. The first (and so far only) national television station was opened early in 1964; although government owned, it is partly commercial. As of 2001, there were 7 FM radio stations. In 2000, there were 274 radios and 25 television sets for every 1,000 people. Internet access has been extremely limited, with two service providers serving 500 users in 2000.

Many existing newspapers and magazines ceased publication when the Doe regime was overthrown in 1990. Afterward, a number of new ones were begun. As of 2002, there were at least six daily newspapers, including: The Daily Observer (circulation 30,000) and Liberian Age (4,000). The New Liberian, published daily except Wednesday, is the official government newspaper.

Freedom of speech and the press are provided for in the constitution, and at present the government is said to generally respect these rights in practice. However, years of civil strife have destroyed many facilities and disrupted all media in Liberia; many have failed to resume publication or broadcasting. A restrictive Media Law, instituted during the Doe regime, remains in force and provides the government with wide powers for licensing and regulating the media.

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