THE Gulf Daily News is celebrating four decades as The Voice of Bahrain, marking a significant milestone in the country’s media industry.
We have been at the forefront of local news for the last 40 years, ensuring that Bahrainis and residents are kept up to date with social, political, economic and sporting events.
The first-ever print run was launched by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa on March 21, 1978.
“This is a historic milestone for the GDN, having emerged from a relatively humble background, to become Bahrain’s English language national daily paper of choice,” said GDN editor-in-chief George Williams.
“I want to emphasise this point, none of it would have been possible without an enlightened Royal Family, who have enabled the GDN to be a key part of the evolution of Bahrain’s media into the modern form it is today.
“When I arrived in 1978, it was at the time of Letterpress and hot metal casting, which evolved, through photo setting composition, to present day on screen production.
“I’ve been there through every process and it’s been quite a rollercoaster ride. With computers it’s much faster.”
Major events in Bahrain and around the world have graced our pages throughout the years, with coverage of the Gulf War, the National Action Charter’s approval in 2001, the international Hague rulings, the visit of UK’s Queen Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh in 1979, and when Bahrain was officially proclaimed a Kingdom in 2002 by His Majesty King Hamad.
“I think the GDN has to a certain extent been part of an evolving community,” said Al Hilal Group managing director Ronnie Middleton.
“By that I mean the authorities and the public came to rely on the GDN as a way of expressing views and as a way of passing on information.”
We also covered the Gulf Air plane crash in 2000, which claimed the lives of all 143 on board, the Al Dana boat tragedy in 2006 that killed 58 people, and the 2011 unrest.
Thousands of other events include the first parliamentary elections in 2002, the Bahrain Formula One race launching in 2004, the launch of the BD212 million King Fahad Causeway linking Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in 1986, and last year’s opening of British naval facility HMS Juffair.
“One of the things I would like to mention is that we are proud to be the first newspaper in the region to create separate online portals for each of the Gulf countries, which has enormous potential. It has not been done before,” added Mr Williams.
“Far from shying away from the new technology we are fully embracing it as part of our overall package.