Romania - Media

There were 3.7 million main line telephone subscribers in 1997 and a 1999 report includes an additional 645,500 mobile cellular phones in use. The telephone system was one of the worst in Europe, with a penetration level of only around 14%—as low as 3 to 4% in some areas. In 1997, the country announced plans to begin privatizing the state telecommunications company, Rom Telecom. As of 2000, however, about 640,000 were still on the waiting list for service, with waits lasting an average of 3 years. As of 1998, there were 40 AM and 202 FM radio broadcasting stations. A 1995 report indicated there were 48 television stations. In 2000 there were 334 radios and 381 television sets for every 1,000 people. The same year there were only about 31 personal computers in use for every 1,000 people. There were 38 Internet service providers in 2000 with 800,000 Internet users in 2001.

The leading daily newspapers (with 2002 circulation figures) are Evenimentul Zilei (Events of the Day, 200,000 ); Adevarul de Cluj (Truth of Cluj, 200,000); Romania Libera ( Free Romania , 100,000); Adevarul ( Truth , 85,000); and Libertatea ( Liberty , 75,000).

Though the constitution provides for freedom of expression and prohibits censorship, it is illegal to "defame" the country. Journalists are prosecuted under this law and sentenced to prison terms.

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