Albania - Media

Communications are owned and operated by the state and are administered by the Ministry of Communications. In 2001, there were 120,000 main line telephones and 250,000 mobile cellular phones. Some villages may not have telephone service at all. Radio and TV broadcasting is governed by the National Council of Radio and Television (NCRT), a seven-member bipartisan body elected by the Parliament. Seventeen radio stations (13 AM and 4 FM) operated by Radiotelevizioni Shqiptar (Albanian Radio and Television—RTVSh), are located at Kashar, a suburb of Tiranë, and at Shkodër, Stalin, Vlorë, Gjirokastër, Korçë, and several other towns. Television was introduced in 1961, color broadcasts in 1981. As of 2000, there were 2 national and 50 local television stations. In the same year, there were 1,000,000 radios and 700,000 television sets.

There are several daily newspapers published in Tiranë. In 2002 the four major ones were Koha Jone (Our Time, circulation 400,000); Zërii Popullit (People's Voice—circulation 105,000), published by the Socialist Party; Rlindia Demokratike (The Democratic Revival—circulation 50,000), published by the Democratic Party; and Bashkimi Kombetar (circulation 30,000), published by the Democratic Front. There are about 200 publications overall, including daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and pamphlets. At least 2 newspapers were published in Greek with about 15 Greek papers and magazines distributed, primarily throughout the south. Albanian Newspaper (circulation 30,000) is published in Italian and Albanian Daily News is a daily paper published in English. Agjensia Telegrafike Shqiptare (Albanian Telegraphic Agency) is the official news agency.

Though the law protects freedom of speech and press, nearly all news stories are designed to suit the publishers political and economic interests.

As of 2001, there were 10 Internet service providers and about 12,000 Internet users.

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