Shura Council to keep editors-in-chief of state-run newspapers for time being

The Shura Council’s general committee, scheduled to meet Monday, is expected to keep the current editors-in-chief of state-owned newspapers in their positions, sources from the Shura Council told Al-Masry Al-Youm. 

The same sources said, however, that this decision does not indicate an extension of their terms, which end 17 March.

Shura Council Speaker Ahmed Fahmy received Journalists Syndicate chief Mamdouh al-Wali on Sunday to discuss the issue of how to select the 48 new editors-in-chief. 

Fears surfaced recently among journalists that the Islamist-dominated Parliament will choose chief editors that are affiliated or close with Islamic forces. 

Last week, Fahmy said the new appointments of the editors-in-chief will be based on qualifications, not political affiliations.

The Shura Council is also expected to keep the current makeup of the National Council for Human Rights as it is for the time being.

The Shura Council is unlikely to replace the current chief editors or the head of the human rights council before the presidential election ends to allow time to consult with the new president before making the appointments.

The Egyptian newspaper industry is divided into three categories: state-owned newspapers, private newspapers and papers issued by political parties. 

State-owned papers are regulated and monitored by the Shura Council. Previously, those papers — especially Egypt’s flagship paper, Al-Ahram — were the main source of information for the public.

But after opening the door for private papers, state-owned newspapers lost significant influence and sway among Egyptians.

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