|Official Country Name:||Republic of Nauru|
|Region (Map name):||Oceania|
This Oceanic island, located south of the Marshall Islands, became the world's smallest independent republic when it achieved independence from Australia in 1968. It joined the United Nations in 1999. The President holds dual roles as chief of state and head of government, heading a unicameral, 18-seat Parliament. The official language is Nauruan, a distinct Pacific Island language, but English is widely spoken and often used in government and business. The population is approximately 12,000. Nauru is one of the three great phosphate rocks of the Pacific. Accordingly, the country's economy has been dependent on phosphate mining for nearly 100 years. The industry has given Nauruans a high standard of living, but reserves are quickly dwindling, demand is waning, and the extraction process has severely damaged the land, stripping as much as four-fifths of the country's total area. In an effort to replace mining, the government is encouraging the development of the offshore banking industry.
The government of Nauru respects freedom of speech and the press. There is no daily newspaper. The most widely read newspaper is The Nauru Bulletin, which appears weekly every Friday. A publication of the Department of Island Development and Industry, it focuses on government news and information and has a circulation of 700. It was founded in 1965. The Central Star News, founded in 1991, appears fortnightly on Saturday and publishes in both Nauran and English.
There is only one radio station, which is AM, one television station, and one Internet service provider, CenpacNet, Inc. There are 7,000 radios and 500 televisions.
CenpacNet, Inc. (n.d.) Home Page. Available from http://www.cenpac.net .
"CocoNET Wireless," The University of Queensland, Australia (1997). Available from http://www.uq.edu.au .
"Nauru," CIA World Fact Book (2001). Available from http://www.cia.gov .
"Nauru," Freedom House (2000). Available from http://www.freedomhouse.org .
Jenny B. Davis