Radio is the most-popular medium. As well as domestic outlets, South African radio and TV stations can be received.
Commercial and private radios are on the air alongside state-run Radio Lesotho – the only national station. The sole TV station is state-run. BBC World Service broadcasts on 90.2 FM.
The government generally respects media freedom and the private press carries opposition views. But the threat of defamation suits has led to self-censorship, reports US-based Freedom House.
Many media outlets rely heavily on government advertising.
The Kingdom of Lesotho is made up mostly of highlands where many of the villages can be reached only on horseback, by foot or light aircraft.
Resources are scarce – a consequence of the harsh environment of the highland plateau and limited agricultural space in the lowlands.
The former British protectorate has been heavily dependent on the country which completely surrounds it – South Africa.
Over the decades thousands of workers have been forced by the lack of job opportunities to find work at South African mines.
And the Lesotho Highlands Water Project was completed in the 1990s to export water to South Africa.
The Republic of Lesotho
Population: 2.2 million
Major Languages: English (official), Sesotho
Life expectancy: 50 years (men), 48 years (women)
Currency: Loti (1 ZAR = 0.99 LSL)
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