Georgia - Media

Georgia has international telecommunications links via landline to other former Soviet republics and Turkey. There is also a low capacity satellite earth station and connections via Moscow. As of 1997, there were 620,000 main line telephones in use. A 2000 report indicated there were an additional 185,500 mobile cellular phones. As of 1998, there were 7 AM and 12 FM radio broadcast stations. A 2001 report indicated there were about 67 television stations, many of which are only regional. In 2000, there were 556 radios and 474 television sets per 1,000 people. The same year, there were six Internet service providers serving only about 20,000 people.

In 2001, there were about 200 independent newspapers throughout the country. The most widely read was Sakartvelos Respublika, with a 1995 circulation of 40,000. In T'bilisi, the major daily is Vestnik Gruzzi ( Georgian Herald ). There are also several general and special interest periodicals available.

The Constitution and a 1991 press law provide for a free press, but in practice the government is said to restrict some press rights. Libel laws, as well as pressure from business and society leaders and government authorities, inhibit hard core investigative reporting.

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