Qatar - Media

Qatar enjoys excellent external telephone, telex, and cable facilities. Direct-dial telephone service is available for most parts of Europe, the Middle East, and the US. There were an estimated 142,000 mainline telephones in 1997 with an additional 43,476 cellular phones in use.

Radio transmissions include 12 hours per day of English-language service. A French-language service was instituted in 1985. As of 1998 there were 6 AM and 5 FM radio stations. In 2001, there was one television station. Broadcasts are mostly in Arabic. In 1997 there were 268 radios and 273 television sets per 1,000 population. In 2001, there were 75,000 Internet subscribers, with access available through the private telecommunications monopoly.

In 2002, there were six major daily newspapers. Commercial publications available in Qatar (with 2002 circulation figures) include the daily newspapers Al-'Arab (25,000), Ar-Rayah (25,000), Al-Sharq (45,000), Al-Wattan (NA), Daily News Bulletin (NA), and Gulf Times (15,000). As of 1995 there were two major political weeklies (with 1995 circulations) Al-Orouba (50,000) and Al-Ahad (11,000).

The official censorship of the print media was lifted in 1995. Since then, it is said that the print media have been free of government interference. The censorship function continues for movies, videos, and radio and television programming. Also many foreign publications are banned, or have significant portions blacked out. Items typically censored are those containing sexually explicit material or anything deemed hostile or contrary to the teachings of Islam.

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