On June 10th the Egyptian parliament approved a draft law on the press and media, plus two additional laws which validate the work of the National Press Authority and the National Media Authority. However, none of these laws can come into force immediately because, as Ali Abdel-Aal the President of the Parliament pointed out, they must first be ratified by the Council of State to ensure they conform to the Constitution.
If the new laws are approved without changes, the National Press Authority will oversee the financial activities and performance of the national press organizations. It will also be able to appoint editors, the chairs of the boards of directors and decide on journalists’ retirement age. The President of the National Press Authority will be chosen by the Head of State. The Authority’s board of directors will include representatives of the State Council, the Ministry of Finance, national press organizations and two members with proven experience in journalism.
The Speaker of the Parliament insisted that these reforms are aimed at avoiding the privatization of the Egyptian public media, which are in a bad financial situation.