Manama: Bahrain’s Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa has called for establishing a media environment that helps a new generation of journalists and media figures who can build an advanced knowledge-based society.

Greater awareness of the latest developments and the consolidation of a high-level professional media would characterise the new environment, Prince Khalifa said.

“World Press Freedom Day is not an occasion to only celebrate and commemorate,” Prince Khalifa said. “It should also be used to support journalism and the media and to promote them within a framework of genuine values that elevate the status of people, defend their lives and security and protect their rights to live in peace and stability,” he said in a statement as Bahrain marked World Press Freedom Day.

Prince Khalifa paid special tribute to the journalists and media figures who throughout several generations assumed the responsibility of their work, fully aware of the events unfolding around them.”

“The increasing fast-paced political, security, economic and cultural in several regions throughout the world require a balanced, credible and objective media that builds and increases hope within people,” he said. “Any society that seeks to move forward must have a patriotic media that serves the issues of comprehensive development, drawing its strength from its core values of freedom of speech and expression,” he said.

The Premier said the media in Bahrain was progressing, triggering a sense of pride and appreciation.

Bahrain will celebrate May 7 as Bahrain Press Day to pay tribute to the media people for their creativity and outstanding contribution to the development of the media in the kingdom, he said.

“A responsible media has a critical role in spreading the values of peace and co-existence within communities,” he said. “It is also a genuine reflection of the aspiration of the people to have more stable and more prosperous lives.”

Prince Khalifa said the media should be a string agent in reinforcing understanding between nations and consolidating the values of compassion and peace.

“The media has a noble role in enlightening the people, particularly that it is well aware of their needs and ambitions.

Responsible media should be supported, particularly in light of the fast-paced technological advances and the increasing number of sources for news and information, he said.

“Bahrain has presented to the world a good example in openness and freedom of opinion and speech, and the media people have had a laudable role in informing the world about the status of Bahrain as an advanced country in all areas,” he said.

“We look at our media with pride as it is a crucial platform for expressing views and opinions,” he said.

The United Nations established World Press Freedom Day in 1993.