Kuwait profile

Kuwait man watches emir on TV Media exercise restraint when reporting on the emir

Kuwaiti journalists exercise restraint when covering matters relating to the emir and senior royals.

A press law forbids references to God and the Muslim prophet, Mohammed, that are deemed insulting. Criticism of the emir, the constitution, the judiciary and the "basic convictions of the nation" is prohibited. Courts can prescribe prison sentences for defamation and "attacks" on religion.

State-owned TV and radio operate alongside private broadcasters. Pan-Arab satellite stations are widely watched.

Newspaper publishers must have licences from the Ministry of Information. The ministry censors books, films, periodicals and other imported publications deemed morally offensive.

BBC World Service is available on FM in Kuwait City (in Arabic on 90.1, English on 100.1).

Kuwait had nearly 2 million internet users by June 2012 (InternetWorldStats). A pervasive filtering system blocks content deemed immoral or politically-sensitive.

The authorities actively pursue those who publicly criticize the emir. Several Twitter users have received prison sentences for their comments.

The press

Al-Watan - private, daily

Al-Qabas - private, daily

Al-Rai al-Amm - private, daily

Kuwait Times - English-language

Arab Times - English-language

Television

Kuwaiti TV - state-run, operates four networks and satellite channel

Al-Rai - first private TV, via satellite

Al-Sabah - private

Al-Watan - private

Al-Resalah - private, religious

Radio

Radio Kuwait - state-run, programmes in English and Arabic

Marina FM - first private radio station, music-based

News agency

Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) - in Arabic and English

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