The Bahrain Journalists Association is working on finalizing a draft code of ethics, Gulf News reported Jan. 4. The Bahrain Journalists’ Association is calling for contributions from the public and journalists.
Currently the draft code advises against invasion of privacy, defamation, racism and discrimination and calls for “accuracy , honesty and objectivity,” according to Gulf News. According to the Bahrain News Agency, the code is currently called the “Journalists’ Professional Ethics Charter.”
According to Gulf News, the Bahrain Journalists’ Association is ” an umbrella for Bahrain-based journalists launched in 2001.” According to a June 2011 article by Gulf News, “Bahrain has five dailies in Arabic and two in English. All papers are privately-owned.” Gulf News explained in a Jan. 4 story that the draft ethics code “is based on the views expressed by media people during the national dialogue held in July.”
Bahrain News Agency reported Jan. 4 that the Bahrain Journalists’ Association represents “all Bahrain editors, journalists, and press institutions.” According to Bahrain News Agency, the journalists’ association is “the sole, legal representative body of Bahrain press.”
In June 2009, Gulf News reported that the Bahrain Journalists’ Association was planning to work on a “tentative code of ethics” in a workshop with the New York Times’ assistant general counsel David McCraw. According to Trade Arabia, The Bahrain Journalists’ Association completed a code of ethics in late June 2009.
We have written to the Bahrain Journalists’ Association chairperson Isa Al-Shaiji asking more about the new code and will update with any response.
We wrote in June 2011 when the Guardian reported that Bahrain was suing the UK Independent for defamation. We have written to the Independent asking if the lawsuit is active. We will update with any response.
UPDATE: 1/9/2012 12:53 PM EST: Added Bahrain News Agency’s description of the BJA.