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Cellcom Liberia antenna in Monrovia (2009)
Communications in Liberia include the press, radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.
Much of Liberia's communications infrastructure was destroyed or plundered during the two civil wars (1989-1996 and 1999-2003). With low rates of adult literacy and high poverty rates, television and newspaper use is limited, leaving radio as the predominant means of communicating with the public. However, even as it struggles with economic and political constraints, Liberia’s media environment is expanding. The number of registered newspapers and radio stations (many of them community stations) is on the rise despite limited market potential. And politically critical content and investigative pieces do get published or broadcast.
Radio stations: 1 state-owned radio station, but no national public service broadcaster; about 15 independent radio stations broadcasting in Monrovia, with another 25 local stations operating in other areas; transmissions of 2 international broadcasters are available (2007).
Main lines: 3,200 lines in use, 213th in the world (2011).
Mobile cellular: 2.4 million lines, 138th in the world (2012).
Telephone system: the limited services available are found almost exclusively in the capital Monrovia; fixed-line service stagnant and extremely limited; telephone coverage extended to a number of other towns and rural areas by four mobile-cellular network operators; mobile-cellular subscription base growing and teledensity reached 50 per 100 persons (2011).
There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms.
The constitution provides for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice. Libel and national security laws place some limits on freedom of speech. Individuals can generally criticize the government publicly or privately without reprisal. Some journalists practice self-censorship. The constitution prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government generally respects these prohibitions in practice.