Bahrain will have a third Arabic daily, Al-Mithaq (the Charter), early next year, publisher Mohammad Ali al-Sitri told AFP Tuesday, December 11.
"The newspaper, with capital of two million dinars (around six million dollars), should hit the newsstands in the early part of 2002," said Sitri, a member of Bahrain's government appointed Shura (Consultative Council) who had worked on drafting a national charter on democratic reform. Sitri said there were already 15 shareholders in the project and that he was seeking to attract more investors.
There are currently four daily newspapers published in Bahrain, the Arabic-language Al-Ayyam and Akhbar Al-Khaleej, and the English-language Bahrain Tribune and Gulf Daily News.
Information Minister Nabil Al-Hamr told AFP last month he had received requests from publishers to start up seven new dailies and 10 magazines. But the authorization needed for new publications depends on the "passing of a new press law" currently under study. That comes within the framework of the reforms to which Bahrain has committed itself since the popular approval by referendum in February of the national charter, Hamr said.
Former opposition spokesman Mansur Al-Jamri is among those planning to launch a new newspaper, Al-Wasat, in 2002 in cooperation with a group of Bahraini businessmen. — (AFP, Manama)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)