Saudi Arabia profile
Saudi investors are major players in the pan-Arab TV industry, but the country has one of the region's most tightly-controlled media environments.
Criticism of the government and royal family and the questioning of Islamic tenets are not generally tolerated. Self-censorship is pervasive.
The state-run Broadcasting Service of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (BSKSA) operates almost all domestic broadcasting outlets. The minister of culture and information chairs the body which oversees radio and TV.
Private TV stations cannot operate from Saudi soil, but the country is a major market for pan-Arab satellite and pay-TV. Saudi investors are behind the major networks MBC, which is based in Dubai, and Bahrain-based Orbit Showtime.
Saudi tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns the Rotana media entertainment empire and in late 2011 acquired a $300m stake in the social media site Twitter.
Newspapers are created by royal decree. There are more than a dozen dailies. Pan-Arab papers, subject to censorship, are available. On sensitive stories, newspapers tend to follow the editorial lead of the state-run news agency.
There were 13 million internet users by December 2011 (Internetworldstats.com). Strict filtering is in place, targeting "pornographic", Islam-related, human rights and political sites. The authorities say some 400,000 sites are blocked.
Changes to the press law in 2011 brought all forms of electronic publishing under its scope.
Saudi researchers say there are up to 10,000 blogs in the kingdom. The platform has given women some leeway to express themselves freely.
- Al-Watan - Abha-based daily
- Al-Riyadh - Riyadh-based daily
- Okaz - Jeddah-based daily
- Al-Jazirah - Riyadh-based daily
- Al-Sharq al-Awsat - Riyadh-based daily, English-language web pages
- Arab News - Jeddah-based English-language daily
- Saudi Gazette - Jeddah-based English-language daily
- Saudi TV - state-run, operates four networks, including news network Al-Ikhbariya
- Saudi Radio - state-run
- Saudi Press Agency (SPA) - state-run, English-language pages