State of the Media
William A. Rugh, Arab Mass Media (2004), characterizes the Qatar press as loyalist, meaning that “the newspapers are consistently loyal to and supportive of the regime in power despite the fact that they are privately owned.” Qatar has six daily newspapers, four in Arabic and two in English. The daily press is entirely owned by private persons, however it receives government subsidies which some depend on. The main restrictions on the media consist of not offending religious sensibilities, not revealing military information, and not damaging Qatar’s relations with friendly states. The press criticizes the government to a limited extent. However, public criticism of the ruling family is strictly taboo. The Ministry of Information, and with it press censorship, was abolished in 1995. Al-Jazeera television is arguably Qatar’s most famous media outlet, but as it targets a pan-Arab audience it is dealt with under pan-Arab media.