The Minister of State for Information Affairs and the Government’s Official Spokesperson, Sameera Ibrahim bin Rajab, affirmed that the National Assembly expects referral of the new Media and Communications Law in its current term of sessions.
The Minister ruled out any oversights, snags or drastic changes in the provisions of the new law because of any governmental reservations.
The Minister told Al-Watan daily newspaper that the new Media Law includes several updates commensurate with transformations in the arena and in line with the directives of His Majesty the King regarding the need to approve a comprehensive, enlightened media law that responds with transformations in the sector, alluding to the currently applicable Media Law of the year 2002 based on foundations rejected by media operators and practitioners. The Minister said that the new media law addresses loopholes which smeared the old law, pointing out that the new media law includes a chapter on the advertising sector akin to media laws all over the world in addition to articles which regulate private sector audio-visual media, private channels. The new media law endorses the High Media and Communications Regulatory Authority in the Kingdom to regulate the media in the King akin to Western countries.
Regarding official channels through which to communicate with the Government’s Spokesperson, Minister Sameera bin Rajab said that regular meetings are being held as well as conferences, press releases and statements issued from the Office of the Government’s Official Spokesperson whenever need shall arise. Also, an email address has been allocated for the Office of Official Government’s Spokesperson to reply to any question or query from media inside the Kingdom or abroad.
Also, an official website will be launched shortly which will be a point-of-reference. The Ministry of State for Information Affairs aims to ensure the maximum flow of information in transparency in addition to the Minister’s regular briefing held by the Minister immediately after the weekly Cabinet meeting at which she answers any queries.
The Minister urged for the need to develop and improve popular performance in social media networks to become a means of constructive participation and not vice versa. She urged all journalists and media professionals to professionally discuss issues at hand, pointing out that freedoms in Bahrain nowadays are unfortunately exploited unprofessionally to the detriment of all.
The Minister said that a journalist who does not safeguard the Homeland is a failure whatsoever they may try to become successful because the media has its rules and fundamentals. The first rule is preserve national security and stability because upon the pillars of security and stability man can put in full energy until they reach success without coming up with bad news or articles which undermine the country’s stability or tries to weaken the State whose weakness means the weakness of all. The Minister hoped that everybody shall appreciate these freedoms through compliance with professional fundamentals and norms.