Oman - Media

Postal, telephone, and telex systems are supervised by the Ministry of Posts, Telegraphs, and Telephones. By the end of 1991, the entire country was connected to a 79,000-line telephone network. As of 1997, there were 201,000 main telephone lines and 59,822 cellular phones. Oman now has international direct dialing to most major countries.

Radio and television facilities are government owned; color television was introduced in 1974. As of 1999 there were 3 AM and 9 FM radio stations and 13 television broadcast stations, all controlled by the government. In 2000 there were 621 radios and 563 television sets for every 1,000 people. In 2001, there were 90,000 Internet subscribers.

Newspapers and journals in Arabic include the daily Al-Wattan (2002 circulation, 32,500) and Oman Daily Newspaper (15,560) and weekly periodicals such as Al-Aquida and Al-Usra. There are two English-language newspapers: Oman Daily Observer (22,000) and Times of Oman (15,000).

A 1984 Press and Publication Law authorizes the state to censor domestic and imported foreign publications. Journalists are said to practice self-censorship to avoid harassment. Criticism of the sultan is explicitly illegal.

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