Bahrain Journalist Association criticises political society for planning to launch own newspaper



Lamees Dhaif, a BJA board member, told the Tribune: “I have heard about it and am not surprised by this move as this shows that smaller groups are slowly moving into the print media. The question is how far can they go, considering the cost of advertising is low, the administrative costs of running the newspaper is high and there is a small margin of profit.”

Al Menbar Society announced that it had allocated a budget of BD1 million for the project and that it would focus on politics. This would be the first newspaper in the Kingdom to be run by a political society.

Dhaif also said that there were two new Arabic newspapers, Nabah and Balad, coming up. “We recently met His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa who asked us whether the market in the Kingdom was ready to absorb new newspapers. We intend to send a report on this issue shortly
“There are already newspapers that focus on various sections of the society, while there are others who have their own agenda. Newspapers should not be biased and ought to present a clear picture to the citizens without taking any sides. The effect of political societies running the newspapers will be seen as columnists and journalists will be their official mouthpiece and will be used as mere puppets.”

Dhaif also pointed out that the Press release culture gradually seeping into the newspapers should not be promoted and journalists ought to write their own views in their columns. The BJA will shortly introduce a code of ethics calling all the journalists from the newspapers to sign and abide by the laws.




Qatar‘s CMC candidates focus on area woes

The Peninsula: Candidates for the April 1 Central Municipal Council (CMC) election are focusing more on social and civic issues this time than in the past two polls when trying to woo voters.

For the first, campaign posters and banners were seen propping up throughout Qatar. They were more prominently displayed in some areas in Doha such as Al Jisra.

"We have become more conscious about the social and civic problems and gone are the days of wooing us just with sweet talk," said a young Qatari in Al Jisra as he looked at the election materials of a contestant being placed on a street near his house.

Identifying the problems of your constituency and proposing in your electoral manifesto how effectively you can solve them, can be the key to your success, said a candidate.

Ali Salem Al Ahbabi, who is in the fray from Old Al Rayan constituency, said he is printing a brochure detailing all the problems of his locality for distribution to the electorate.

In remarks to The Peninsula, he said yesterday that the drainage system in the area needs to be upgraded to prevent water logging during the rains. "Internal roads are in bad shape and there are many old buildings that need to be demolished to make way for new ones.

"I am fighting on these issues and they are quite relevant to my constituents," he said. "I have taken photographs of some internal roads and am using them in my brochure to highlight their condition."

Meanwhile, a contestant from Al Hilal area of Doha said that despite his locality being posh, there are some warehouses which exist here from earlier days.

Mohamed Abdul Hameed Nasrallah said that no effort has been made to move them to areas outside Doha despite the fact that they pose a serious health hazard to residents. "Among them are some chemical warehouses."

Due to these industrial storage facilities, a lot of heavy vehicles keep coming to the area, causing nuisance on roads and threatening safety of motorists, he said. The locality is also infested with insects.

Rodents and stray cats are another menace the residents face, he said. Nasrallah is contesting an election for the first time and said that he was grateful to the sitting Chairman of the CMC, Ibrahim Al Haidoos, for his decision not to seek re-election and give a chance to young blood.

Nasrallah works with the CMC secretariat general and said that being with the Council members most of the time, inspired him to jump in the fray himself.

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