The number of newspapers in Bahrain has risen from 4 Arabic and English dailies in 1999 to 12 dailies and weeklies in 2012.
They are Akhbar Al-Khaleej (1976), Al-Ayam (1989), Al-Wassat (2002), Al-Watan (2005) and Al-Bilad (2008). Al-Meethaq (May 2004) and Al-Waqt (February 2006) stopped publishing due to financial reasons. Gulf Daily News (1978) and Daily Tribune (1997) are two English dailies.
Below are the five Arabic daily newspapers:
Akhbar Al-Khaleej 1976; Al-Ayam 1989, Al-Wasat 2002; Al-Wattan 2005 Al-Bilad 2008.
Two other newspapers were established namely: Al-Methaq May 2004 and Al-Waqt Feb. 2006 however they stopped for financial reasons.
Two English daily newspapers namely: Gulf Daily News (GDN) 1978, Daily Tribune 1997.
Five weeklies: Al-Ahd 2003; Al-Naba 2003; Aswaq 2009, Al-Tijjariya and Sports Kingdom.
The number of magazines has gone from 25 up to 65 weeklies and monthlies having various inclinations: economic, societal, entertainment, variety in addition to tens of magazines which have been licensed by other governmental bodies inside the Kingdom.
The spread of electronic media and an increase in the number of social networking users. Over 90,000 users have had access to IAA accounts, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, in 2012.
Around 1000 news and press bulletins have been licensed by IAA since mid-year 2011 on issuance of (Hona Al-Bahrain) electronic magazine. The Ministry of Information began issuance of weekly hardcopy of the same magazine in May 1974 which included Radio News since it was issued monthly back in 1956.
Licensing from the IAA to more than 818 news bulletins, newspapers to government ministries and institutions, political societies, NGOs and sports clubs, religious organizations, advertisers, community centers, trade union associations, regional offices, private and public educational institutions, charity funds, etc.
Freedom of circulation of publications and audio-visual items: The directorate of printing and publications permitted during the year 2011 the entry of 78027 book titles from various fields of knowledge at the rate of 1,642,392 copies imported under these book titles. The directorate also approved 215 applications for printing local publications from Bahraini authors in addition to permitting the circulation of 27147 audio-visual items, electronic games and software and issued 1642 licenses to carry out sundry media activities from the Bahrain Investors Center which reflect the boom in the quantity of publications and the volume of media business under the reform project of His Majesty the King.
Since the launching of HM's reform project in 1999, no journalist has been jailed nor has any newspaper or media institution been closed for any reasons other than financial.
The establishment of many professional media associations namely the following:
Bahrain Journalists Association (BJA) established in 2000, joined International Journalists Union in December 2003, Foreign Correspondents Club in July 2005, launching of the GCC Journalists Union in May 2005 based in Bahrain. IAA intends to create a fully equipped Media Center with latest state-of-the-art technologies to become a permanent office for such media organizations.
Bahrain Journalists Association's inauguration of the Professional Code of Ethics on January 20th, 2012 reliant upon draft prepared by IAA. The code of ethics consolidates the freedom of speech and constructive opinion in developing the community, boosting the spirit of intimacy and national unity, unification of the body of journalists in order to upgrade newspaper and media work and to ensure professional ethics and morals, protect the rights of journalists, the community under the rule of law.