Zambia - Media

The central government is responsible for postal and telecommunication services. A direct radiotelegraph circuit has been established between Lusaka and London, and direct telephone links are in operation to all neighboring countries. About 130,000 mainline telephones were in use in 1997. An additional 75,000 cellular phones were in use by 2001.

The Zambia Broadcasting Service, which provides radio programs in English and seven local languages, and Zambian Television are government owned and operated. As of 2001, there were also several church-sponsored radio stations, two private commercial stations and three community stations. The same year there were 19 AM and 5 FM radio stations. There were nine television stations in 2002. In 2000 there were 145 radios and 134 television sets for every 1,000 people. Internet access was available through five Internet service providers, who served 15,000 subscribers in 2000.

There are a number of privately-owned newspapers in the country. However, the publications with the largest circulations tend to be politically affiliated. There are three major daily newspapers: the UNIP-owned Times of Zambia, founded in Ndola in 1943 and with an estimated 2002 daily circulation of 32,100; the government-owned Zambia Daily Mail, published in Lusaka, with a circulation of 40,000; and The Post, an independent English-language paper founded in 1991, with a circulation of 40,000.

The constitution provides for free expression, including a free press; however the penal code lists several exceptions and justifies government restrictions and censorship.

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