Al Hammadi flanked by the editors in chief at the signing ceremony. Image Credit: BNA

Manama: Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa has reiterated full support to the local press as he welcomed the signing of the Charter of Press Ethics by the editors in chief of the local dailies.

Initiated by the Ministry of Information and Parliament Affairs, the deontological code endorses values and principles that the editors in chief pledged on Wednesday to uphold in the operations of their dailies.

King Hamad thanked the Minister of Information and Parliament Affairs Eisa Al Hammadi and the press community for the initiative, hailing the role played by the fourth estate since the early 1930s, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

“The Charter of Press Ethics reflects keenness on promoting the fourth estate to continue its crucial role in enlightening public opinion and in raising all political, economic and social issues”, he said.

The charter was signed by the six editors in chief and Al Hammadi at a ceremony attended by journalists.

The minister said in a statement to the media that an independent, credible and objective press was one of the most important requirements for maintaining the security and stability of the nation.

“Such a press, under the prevailing democratic openness and responsible freedom, will cement national unity and cohesion, foster the values of cordiality and tolerance and enhance the kingdom’s progress and prosperity,” he said.

The initiative embodies the awareness of the editors-in-chief of the importance of their partnership with the Ministry of Information Affairs to ensure commitment to professional ethics based on credibility, honesty and objectivity, as well as taking the higher interests of the nation and the citizens into account and rejecting division, fanaticism and calls for hatred, he added.

“The signing of the Charter is in line with the belief of the Information Affairs Ministry and the editors-in-chief in the importance of the enlightening message of the national press, and its leading role in enhancing the democratic process,” he said.

Al Hammadi said the participation of the editors-in-chief in preparing and drafting the charter confirms their commitment to strengthening the pillars of responsible freedom and to consolidating the authentic values of professional journalism.

There is genuine keenness on developing the legislative and regulatory structure of the information and communication sector through preparing a modern and enlightened draft law in coordination with the executive and legislative branches and in partnership with press establishments to upgrade the press and media message, he said.