News Media and Goans in Kuwait
The Kuwaiti press, which is characterized by relative independence and openness, holds a special position on the Arab media scene due to widespread private ownership of the papers in the country. Some of the Kuwaiti press houses have become large informational and commercial establishments, in which newspaper publishing is just one of several business activities.
The Kuwaiti press also has an important position among its Arab peers since it raises controversial issues relating to other countries in the region, such as terrorism, tensions among the Arab states and corruption scandals, which the press of these countries has difficulties raising. However, the Kuwaiti press is facing some major challenges, which could jeopardize its achievements. The Kuwaiti parliament passed a new press law in 2006.
The first newspaper to appear in Kuwait was the monthly Kuwait in 1928. In 1958 Kuwait had a newspaper specialised in news relating to the oil industry, called the Oil Newsletter. Al Anbaa, a widely distributed pro-government newspaper delivers an uncritical coverage of local news and an extensive supplement on business and sport. Website: http://www.alanba.com.kw
The oldest English-language newspaper in the Gulf, Kuwait Times established in 1961 delivers an all-round news coverage of both local and international issues and varied opinion pages. Kuwait Times publishes 16 special pages for the expatriate community: eight in Malayalam and eight in Urdu. Website: http://www.kuwaittimes.net
Arab Times, the English-language sister of the liberal Arabic-language Al Seyassah, caters mostly to Kuwait’s large expatriate community and especially to readers from the Indian sub-continent since 1977.
The leading independent, liberal newspaper in Kuwait called Al Qabas was established in 1971 , which has become increasingly critical of the government. Website: http://www.alqabas.com.kw
The editorial line of the independent, liberal Al Rai Al Aam established in 1969 often backs up the government. Besides a good coverage of local news, it delivers extensive coverage of the Kuwaiti financial market. Website: http://www.alraialaam.com
Al Seyassah, established in 1965, an independent, strongly liberal newspaper, has close ties to both the ruling family and Saudi Arabia. Its editor-in-chief Ahmad Jarallah, who received a letter bomb in 2004, on a regular basis writes painfully straightforward front-page editorials backing the West, bashing the Islamists and attacking Iran. Website: http://www.alseyassah.com
A conservative newspaper Al Watan (established 1974) has close ties to the ruling family besides the extensive coverage of the activities of the monarchy and the government. Website: http://www.alwatan.com.kw It now has an English edition together with the Herald Tribune.
It is understood that Goans have been gainfully employed in Kuwait’s English dailies as early as in the 1960’s.
A large number of Goans had successful careers in the English dailies namely the Arab Times, Kuwait Times, The Times (weekly) and Al-Watan. It is with pride that we enlist these Goans who are dedicated towards their profession and specialization in the print industry in Kuwait. The staff, reporters and administrative/technical staff: Kuwait Times: Tony Coelho (Sanquelim), Xavier Moraes (Santa Cruz/Kalafura), Julius Coelho (Sanquelim) and Seby D'Souza (Anjuna). Arab Times: Josephine D’souza (Ucassaim), Peter D’Souza (Britona), Francis Fernandes (Britona), Agnelo Fernandes (Pomburpa), Xavier Pires (Pomburpa), Nazareth Fernandes (Pomburpa), Clifford Cardozo (Quepem), Vicky D’Souza (Pilar), Anthony Fernandes (Raia), Jitendra Wadkar (Tivim), E.G. Vaingankar (Santa Cruz), and Jose Dias (Old Goa), The Bombay-based Goans are: Anthony Rodrigues, Albino Pinheiro, Bobby Monteiro, Tony Sequeira, Vincent Rebeiro, Osbert Rodrigues and Glenn. The Times: Joseph (William) Fernandes (Parra), Reaven D’Souza.
A good number of Goans have contributed their time and efforts towards the promotion of Goan culture, sports (football and chess) as well as their mother tongue and state language, Konkani. Presently, Gasper Crasto (GaspersWorld - Navelim), Domingos Araujo (Kala Mogui Kuwait - Santa Cruz), C. Gaspar Almeida (Goa-World.Com - Parra), Lino B. Dourado (Utorda), Anthony V. Fernandes (Candolim), Sunny Nazareth (Penha de France) , J.L. Rewon Gomes (Photographer – Raia), Ulysses Menezes (Goa-world.com – Bastora) regularly have their voices read in the press, sometimes anonymously. While concluding, we offer our rememberance and tribute to some of the deceased Goans who were well known among the Indian community during their tenure of services to the local press including William (Bill) Pereira (Sangolda), Alfred D’Cruz (Saligao and ex-staffer of The Times of India) and Alex Fernandes (Curtorim). Many-a-times, we read articles and news clippings forwarded and penned by Goan journalists – some of them freelancers – as guest writers, but these are few. Added to it, since 1994, there are efforts being made through the www.goa-world.com website and its affiliated mailing lists to provide a chance to upcoming writers (both English and Konkani) and their contribution is equally beneficial to the average Goan internet users. There are also several other Goans as well as a galaxy of Indians who work behind the scenes in this ever growing press industry in Kuwait as well as in the GCC countries too.
- As documented by Gasper Crasto. (Additional input: Gasper Almeida).