Information Affairs Minister Ali bin Mohammed Al Romaihi has extended congratulations to press and media personnel on World Press Freedom Day.
He took pride in the national press as an essential partner in the comprehensive development of the nation, preserving the national entity and defending the development gains achieved during the prosperous era of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
The minister said Bahrain participates alongside the international press community and UNESCO in celebrating the World Press Day 2017 titled (Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies).
He noted the ongoing national achievements and developments that reflect the progress of press and media freedoms as the core of democratic and human rights developments, within the framework of respect for freedom of expression and ensuring the right to access and use information in accordance with the constitution and national laws.
Al Romaihi pointed out the progress of the national media and its educational and awareness-raising role, as well as its significance in promoting sustainable development and disseminating values of tolerance and moderation in light of the rise of the number of local and foreign daily newspapers and publications.
He said the new media draft law is more advanced than the current press law as it supports responsible freedoms and keeps abreast of the latest media development.
He affirmed the follow up of the implementation of royal directives on journalists’ housing project to contribute to improve their living and working conditions so as to play their role in defending national security and development achievements.
Al Romaihi paid tribute to the national media efforts, noting the completion of assigning more than 95% of the ministry’s employees on the administrative charter.
He highlighted the ministry’s keenness to prepare bahraini technical and media staff through training courses and workshops in collaboration with leading national and international media and academic institutions.
Al Romaihi said the ministry has signed a cooperation agreement with Tamkeen to implement a professional training programme to qualify 100 young Bahraini university graduates of both genders in the field of press and media prior to engaging them in the labour market.
He noted the many electronic challenges faced by the Ministry of Information Affairs and the media campaigns carried out by foreign organisations targeting to undermine national achievements, security and stability, as well as to sow discord and sectarianism.
He stressed the importance of continuing to elevate the standards of the national media and the implementation of programmes and initiatives to promote the press and media, including the modernization of information and communication infrastructure.
The minister emphasized commitment of visual, audio and video media to professional and ethical standards in conformity with the constitution, national media laws and international charters.
He underlined resolve to reinforce government-private sector partnership to develop the media and communication sector and boost investment to diversify sources of national income in line with Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.
He pointed out the role of the National Communication Centre in unifying the government media vision and establishing communication with local and international media.
Al Romaihi asserted the ministry’s keenness on strengthening partnerships with Arab and friendly countries, chiefly the Gulf countries, to enhance the media role in protecting Gulf and Arab national security, coordinate stances in international forums and concerted national and international efforts to disseminate values of tolerance, peace and dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions, as well as prevent media from inciting to violence, sowing sectarianism or racial hatred, affronting religions or beliefs of others and undermining public order.
The ministry, on behalf of journalists and media personnel, concluded by extending gratitude to HM the King, the government led by HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, for their constant support for promoting press and media freedoms.