Govt promises change in state media content

The content of state media will change in the coming months, Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud told reporters Thursday evening. 

Leading media should be characterized by professionalism and provide different opinions, Abdel Maqsoud said, adding that those who do not adhere to professionalism, objectivity, neutrality and ethics would simply be dismissed.

The minister said he seeks to develop a code of ethics that would be drafted by senior journalists from the Egyptian Radio and Television Union and other prominent members of the media to develop a code that ensures impartiality, objectivity and professionalism.

He said the Information Ministry would participate in drafting the regulations so that Parliament or the Cabinet does not impose a law of its own. 

“We, the people of the [Egyptian] Radio and Television Union, know better of our own affairs,” he said.

He said he also wants to issue regulations that guarantee journalists’ rights and would form a committee to monitor media performance to enhance professionalism and and objectivity through training courses held at the Radio and Television Institute. Prominent media personnel would give the courses.

State TV has been under fire since the 25 January revolution for denying the existence of demonstrations against former President Hosni Mubarak, alleging that protests in Tahrir Square were being funded by foreign organizations to create chaos and instability. 

Many criticized state TV in October for its coverage of the Maspero demonstrations, during which 28 people — mostly Coptic protesters — were killed, several after being run over by army vehicles. State TV presenters encouraged people to go to the Maspero state TV building, where the protests took place, to defend the army.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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