King hails media reforms and achievements
> May 2, 2013
HIS Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa today paid tribute to journalists, media personnel and intellectuals for their crucial role in protecting the country's security and stability and promoting national progress and prosperity.
In an address marking the World Press Freedom Day tomorrow, he affirmed respect of the Press and media. He pledged to continue reforms and democratic march to promote political and media plurality and responsible freedom and urged commitment to professional and ethical standards, underlining the importance of heeding vital national interests.
"We seize this occasion to reiterate our firm resolve to widen the scope of print, audiovisual and electronic media - being the cornerstone of human rights and a mirror of our fledgling democracy," he said.
He underlined the reform and modernisation of media and Press strides achieved over the past 12 years.
The King made the keynote address as Bahrain joins other nations in celebrating the World Press Freedom Day, being held this year under the slogan, "Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media".
"Bahrain has every right to feel proud, having provided a secure environment and viable legislation for journalists to express their opinions in total freedom and independence, beyond any constraints or intimidation," he said.
The King cited his directives to promote housing projects for journalists and media personnel, stressing the government's follow-up in co-operation with the Housing Ministry in this regard.
He stressed his instructions to draw up a new cadre in honour of journalists in recognition of their vital role amid current media challenges.
He pointed out other media strides, citing specially the draft law on media and communication, yet to be endorsed by the legislative authority, and the structural overhauling of the Information Affairs Authority to keep abreast of latest global trends in these vital sectors.
He hailed selection of Manama as Capital of Arab Media for 2013-2014 by the Arab Media Forum, building up on Manama being selected Capital of Arab Press 2012.
He also praised the Supreme Council for Women for recognising women's media contribution in marking the annual Woman Day.
He hailed the efforts of the Minister of State for Information Affairs and the Information Affairs Authority to promote the media profession on the bases of responsibility, openness and co-operation.
He also praised Bahrain Journalists Association, the Foreign Correspondents' Club and the Gulf Press Union for their contribution.
He stressed the need for journalists to commit to the constitution and the law as well as the code of conduct.