The media in Kuwait is relatively free and includes a wide variety of viewpoints expressing disparate views in a unique competitive culture. The press in Kuwait has always been privately-owned by influential elites, allowing for wide range of opinion expression, but it has been limited to some degree by censorship and media laws. Nevertheless, the press exerts a strong influence on public opinion. Private broadcast media emerged in 2004 when the state ban was removed. Although private TV and radio stations enjoy a fair amount of freedom in Kuwait, especially when compared with other Gulf states, they are subject to government laws and regulations.