Brief History About Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)

Kuwait News Agency, abbreviated KUNA, was founded according to an Amiri Decree, which was issued on the 6th of October, 1979.

The state newswire’s goals are gathering news and distributing it to individuals and media institutions thus providing them with objective news services, which focus on Kuwait's just causes on a regional and international scale.

KUNA's building is located in the Kuwait City suburb of Shuwaikh on Jahra Road, between the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kuwait Red Crescent Society building, and opposite Kuwait Sports Club.

The agency employs 365 people, including staff who work in Kuwait City and several cities around the world, according to 1999 figures.

The average of news in both Arabic and English was a total 72,500 stories in that year.

During the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait

In spite of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the resulting seizure of KUNA's equipment and archives by the Iraqi army, the agency was still able to reorganize its structure. During this time, the agency relied on its Kuwaiti employees, and relocated its main office to London. KUNA began transmitting from London on the 13th of October, 1990. The British capital was chosen due to the substantial presence of Arab and international media organisations in the city. The agency’s mission at that time was to emphasise the country’s political legitimacy and independence as a sovereign state recognized by international and regional organisations. In addition, it was to affirm that what happened on the 2nd of August, 1990, was a military invasion and an act of aggression targeting the legitimacy and sovereignty of an independent state. From then until November 1991 it transmitted 16,110 stories. Following the liberation of Kuwait on the 28th of February, 1991, KUNA resumed the transmission of its news service from its main office in Kuwait on the 15 of November, 1991. The agency continued to re-establish itself amid a process fully completed by 1992. It began with an average of 40 stories a day, which increased to 42,000 stories by 1999. The number of employees also increased from 75 in 1978 to 365 in 1999.

   During the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait

Arabic Language Transmission: On the 10th of June, 1992, transmission hours for the Arabic bulletin were increased to 12 hours a day followed by another increase to 16 hours a day on the 14th of October, 1992. KUNA also began an external news service in Arabic for three hours a day on the 15th of November, 1978, which was later expanded to 16 hours on the 15th of February, 1979.

 

English Language Transmission: On the 15th of January, 1980, KUNA began transmitting its English language service to subscribers inside Kuwait for 12 hours a day. Furthermore, KUNA began to offer its English news service to subscribers outside Kuwait on the 25th of February, 1980, starting with 10 hours a day as an initial timeframe which later increased to 16 hours, both locally and internationally.

 

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