Media laws in Bahrain:

The Information Affairs Authority (IAA) is the government body in charge of the affairs of internal and external formal media in Bahrain, and supervises all media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, publications, radio and TV stations and websites.

On 8 July 2010, Royal Decree (31) for the year 2010 established the IAA to be in charge of all media affairs. The IAA is in charge of all licensing and visa requirements and has a wide purview over all forms of media The IAA’s stated aims include:

  • Promoting freedom of press and the rights of expression and opinion in different printed, audio, audio-visual and electronic media, according to the constitution and international laws and conventions;
  • Publishing news, information and statements, covering official and local national functions and informing the public on them transparently;
  • Broadcasting radio and television programs that consolidate common national values and enhance the spirits of cooperation and fraternity, so as to maintain the tolerant religious ethics and principles;
  • Supporting sustainable development efforts and consecrating the principles of democracy, human rights, reformation and portrayal of the government’s foreign policy and its stances in various information media;
  • Developing the legislative infrastructure in the fields of press, publications and press and protect copy rights;
  • Proposing media policies and strategies and implementing them;
  • Granting licences to private press and media establishments, printing companies, publishing and distribution houses;
  • Following up local and foreign publications circulating in Bahrain and monitoring films and recorded publications in order to ensure that they abide by the law and regulations and do not violate public order or harm morals, religions or sects;
  • Issuing licences to correspondents of foreign newspapers, magazines, news agencies, radios and satellite TV channels to work in Bahrain and facilitate their missions;
  • Strengthening cooperation and news exchange with foreign government bodies and media establishments;
  • Launching and organising specialised training and rehabilitation programs for human resources in the fields of press and media;
  • Encouraging investments in the media sector, in partnership with the private sector and leading foreign media establishments;
  • Continuing issuance of the Official Gazette (the government’s weekly newspaper); and

Encouraging and honouring distinction in newspapers and media in order to upgrade the media mission reliant upon professionalism and in compliance with Bahraini laws and international conventions.