Draft law to allow digital journalism to join Press Syndicate



Mon, 01 Oct 2018 - 08:29 GMT


Mon, 01 Oct 2018 - 08:29 GMT

FILE-Head of Egypt's Press Syndicate Abdel-Mohsen Salama

FILE-Head of Egypt's Press Syndicate Abdel-Mohsen Salama

CAIRO – 30 September 2018: A draft law, issued to amend the current Press Syndicate law, allows digital journalism to join the syndicate with the same conditions of paper journalism, Head of Egypt's Press Syndicate Abdel-Mohsen Salama said.

“I drafted a new law for the syndicate as part of my electoral agenda; the current law is totally unconstitutional,” Salama remarked.

He added that the current syndicate’s articles related to freedoms will remain unchanged, while the unconstitutional articles requiring the membership of the Socialist Union as a condition to register in the syndicate will be modified.

He referred that the draft law will also change the date of elections so as not to be held at official holidays.

Previously, the Parliament approved the three draft laws submitted by the Cabinet to regulate Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation (HCMR), the National Media Authority (NPA), and the National Press Authority (NMA).

The Parliament discusses a separate law for each of HCMR, NPA and NMA, instead of one law regulating the three bodies.

Head of Parliament’s Media, Culture and Antiquities Committee, Osama Heikal, said during a plenary session that the draft laws cover all aspects of media and press activities in Egypt, and do not include any articles that could send journalists to jail in publication offences.

Parliament issued Institutional Regulation of the Press and Media law in December 2016, which establishes and regulates the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, the National Press Authority and the National Media Authority's activities.

However, due to the gap that emerged as a result of the rapid progress of technological development in the media, press and social media, the Joint Committee separated each body and drafted an independent law for each of them.

Hence, three new laws will automatically lead to the elimination of the Institutional Regulation of the Press and Media law.

Draft law to regulate Press National Authority

"The National Press Authority shall issue a decision to dismiss the chairman of the Board of Directors, the editor-in-chief or a member or more of the appointed members of the board if they breach their duties or do not meet the condition of appointment,” according to the Article 52.

Article 27 refers that the employees at the National Press Authority shall be committed to maintain the confidentiality of information and documents obtained to carry out their duties and not to disclose or use them for purposes other than those assigned to them.
Those who violate Article 27 shall be punished with a fine not less than LE 100,000 and not exceeding LE 500,000.

Draft law on Press and Media Regulation

The 127-article draft law on press and media regulation is the major law regulating media and press businesses and the Higher Council for Media Regulation, while the other two draft laws are affiliated to it.

The law implements Article 65 of the constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.

Article 19 of the draft law prohibits media outlets, including online websites, from publishing or broadcasting false news or news that incite violence, hatred, discrimination, racism, intolerance and blasphemy. The draft law includes personal websites or online blogs with at least 5,000 followers.



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