Modern telephone, cable, and telex systems are available; mainline telephones numbered 152,400 in 1997. The same year, there were about 58,543 cellular phones in use nationwide.
In 1998, there were 2 AM and 3 FM stations and 4 broadcast television stations. All of which were owned and operated by the government. In 1997 there were 499 radios and 420 television sets in use per 1,000 population. Internet service is provided through the national phone company, with 105,000 subscribers counted in 2001. Government control restricts access to some sites considered with content that is considered anti-Islamic or anti-government.
Bahrain's first daily newspaper in Arabic, Akhbar al-Khalij (circulation 17,000 in 2002), began publication in 1976, and the first English daily, the Gulf Daily News (50,000), was established in 1991. Al Ayam, an Arabic daily founded in 1989, had a 2002 circulation of 37,000.
Though the Bahraini Constitution has provisions for freedom of expression, press criticism of the ruling family or government policy is strictly prohibited.