State media editors to be announced within 15 days, says official

New chief editors for state-run newspapers will be announced within 15 days, said Shura Council Media, Culture and Tourism Committee Chairman Fathy Shehab Eddin, according to the state-run MENA news agency.

Shehab Eddin, who also chairs the selection committee that will choose the editors, said the panel operates impartially and did not exclude any potential candidates in advance.

He said security and regulatory bodies have reviewed their financial status and adherence to professional standards. He said the Journalists Syndicate also provides the Shura Council committee with information about candidates.

But, Shehab Eddin said the panel had received a list of five names who were previously subjected to disciplinary measures, two of whom were accused of relations with Israel, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

He said accusations concern those who deal with Israeli official institutions, figures or the public and that evidence of normalization with Israel would automatically disqualify a candidate. He noted that those who visited Israel-occupied lands with an Israeli visa for a journalist mission would not be subject to exclusion.

Earlier in July, several prominent media figures and journalists protested against the process of selecting editors to lead state-run publications. They also expressed fears the Muslim Brotherhood would take control of state newspapers via the Shura Council much as Hosni Mubarak's administration did. Some suggested postponing the process until the country’s new constitution defines the powers of the Shura Council.

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