Maldives - Media

Interatoll communication is through a network of high-frequency transceivers; within atolls, communication between islands and with boats is by walkie-talkie. A satellite earth station was installed in 1977 to facilitate external communications. In 1999, there were 21,000 mainline phones in use. In 1997, there were 1,290 cellular phones in use as well.

The Voice of Maldives has been transmitting radio broadcasts since 1962 in Divehi and English. Television Maldives is the country's only TV station. As of 2001 there was one radio station and one television station, both government owned. In 1999, there were 35,000 radios and 10,00 television sets throughout the country. In 2001, there were 6,000 Internet subscribers with access through one service provider.

There are two major daily newspapers, Aafathis (2002 circulation 300) and Haveeru Daily (circulation 4,500). Both papers are published in Divehi and English. As of 2001, there were about 200 other newspapers and periodicals in circulation.

The Penal Code prohibits speech against Islam or the government, though it is said that journalists are more self-confident than in the past and that self-censorship has abated. There are legal prohibitions on the import of foreign publications.

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