The Journalists' Syndicate has welcomed the Cabinet’s decision to approve the creation of a syndicate for media professionals, saying that the proposed body will allow for the creation of a much-needed charter for media standards, as well as better supervision of the media industry.
Yehia Qallash, head of the Journalists' Syndicate, said the approval is a crucial step that has been delayed, adding that 2014 Constitution stipulated the creation of such an institution. He said that the syndicate is needed to draft a charter for media standards.
He also called on parliament to speed up work on a draft law on journalism and the media industry, bearing in mind that any syndicate for media professionals will be based on that law.
The draft law will also identify the three authorities, yet to be created, that will be responsible for overseeing media and journalism affairs: a national authority for journalism; a national authority for the media; and a supreme council for the media.
Salah Eissa, secretary general of the Supreme Council for Journalism, said the Cabinet's approval is very important because media professionals have been demanding such a syndicate for a long time.
Speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Eissa added that details of the Cabinet's decision had not yet been released, and that the next steps are still unclear. Moreover, there is no information as yet on when parliament will discuss the issue or pass a draft law.
Hassan Emad Mekkawy, deputy head of the Supreme Council for Journalism, said the media syndicate will have its own regulations and will determine the professional rights and duties of its members. It will be responsible for penalizing anyone who breaks these rules. It will also clarify the rights and responsibilities of media professionals with regard to their present and past employers.
According to Mekkawy, establishing a media code of conduct is essential for the profession and will also be of use to the government in dealing with various media-related issues.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm