Kuwait - Media

The government administers telephone, television, radio, postal, and telegraph services. By 1994 damage to the telecommunications infrastructure from the Gulf War had been repaired and operations returned to normal. In 1997, 412,000 telephones were operated from a fully automatic exchange; a cellular telephone system also operates throughout Kuwait and had about 210,000 subscribers in 1997.

Kuwait Television is government-controlled and has offered color broadcasts since 1974; it broadcasts over three channels. Radio Kuwait produces programs in English, Urdu, Persian, and Arabic. In 1998, there were 6 AM and 11 FM radio stations and 13 television stations. In 2000, there were 624 radios and 486 television sets for every 1,000 people. In 2001, there were 165,000 Internet subscribers served by three service providers.

As of 2002, Kuwait had eight daily newspapers. Major Arabic dailies (with estimated 2002 circulation), include Al-Anbaa ( The News, 106,830), Al-Rai al-'Amm ( Public Opinion, 86,900), Al Jameheer (83,000), Al-Qabas ( Firebrand , 79,700), Al-Seyassa ( Policy , 70,000), and Al-Watan (The Homeland, 59,940). English-language dailies include the Arab Times (41,920) and Kuwait Times (28,000). The popular monthly magazine Al-'Arabi (350,000 in 1995), similar to the Reader's Digest, is widely read in Kuwait.

The constitution provides for freedom of speech and the press, and with a few exceptions, citizens are said to freely criticize the government in all media. The government ended pre-publication censorship in 1992. The government does not censor foreign journalists and allows them open access to the country.

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