Oman Government and Media Profile

Oman Political Orientation

Saudi Arabia - Government and Media - Right Bias - IslamicOman Flag country political orientation.


Government Type: Hereditary Monarchy (The Basic Law of Oman is the constitution, amended in 2011.)
Head of the State and Government: Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said (since 2020)
Political Party: Oman does not allow political parties (Monarchy)

Press Freedom

MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 30.94 (Limited Freedom)
World Press Freedom Rank:
Oman 155/180

In 2023, Reporters Without Borders ranked Oman 155 out of 180 countries in its Press Freedom Index. The organization stated that the government tightly controls Oman’s media landscape, with self-censorship prevalent among journalists. Criticism of the Sultan, his cousin, and the government is not tolerated, and journalists who cross the line face legal repercussions.

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

The media landscape in Oman is mainly under state control, both directly and indirectly. The government operates several media platforms, including the “Oman Daily” and “Oman Daily Observer,” newspapers, and several state-owned TV stations, such as Oman TV. These outlets generally align with government views and refrain from critical coverage of its policies. Private media in Oman, such as “Al-Watan,” largely operate under government oversight and are primarily financed by government advertising.

The government can shut down any media outlet it perceives as acting against state interests. For example, the “Azamn” newspaper was shut down in 2016, and its journalists were detained for reporting on alleged judicial corruption.

In 2017, Omani authorities arrested three Al Zaman journalists (another privately owned paper) and permanently closed the newspaper “for articles accusing senior judicial officials of corruption.” Online content has also seen increased restrictions in recent years, with the government monitoring and blocking websites deemed harmful to public order or morality. In general, Journalists and bloggers criticizing the government or the Sultan risk arrest and prosecution. 

In summary, while Oman has a modern media infrastructure, the government’s tight control over content and the prevailing self-censorship among journalists limit press freedom in the country.

Country Rating Methodology

Last Updated on August 2, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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