No authority, including the elected Shura Council, should have control over state-owned press organizations, said the Journalists Syndicate in a new chapter of the conflict between journalists and the Islamist-dominated Parliament.
In a statement on Wednesday, the syndicate's council said it reiterates its total rejection of the attempts made by the Shura Council to interfere in the affairs of state-owned media outlets.
The Shura Council has the legal right to appoint the editors-in-chief of state-owned newspapers, which continue to enjoy wide popularity despite fierce competition from private newspapers.
During the reign of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, critics said the Shura Council appointed chief editors loyal to Mubarak. Shura Council members recently announced their intention to set a number of standards for the appointment of state-owned newspapers’ editors-in-chief.
However, members of the Journalists Syndicate said they fear the Shura Council’s standards will enable the appointment of editors loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Their statement added that the Shura Council’s attempts to intervene in the affairs of journalistic institutions raise suspicions that it is attempting to inherit the role and dominance of the defunct National Democratic Party.
The syndicate’s council has instructed members of the Journalists Syndicate not to participate in the committee formed by the Shura Council to select the editors-in-chief of state newspapers, “in response to the Shura Council’s flagrant interference in the affairs of state-owned newspapers and the rejection of our colleagues," the statement said.
The syndicate’s council also escalated matters by calling for an emergency syndicate conference in July to pressure Parliament to prepare a new law on the issue that would be submitted to the state authorities.