In Sunday’s newspapers, writers reflected on more than one socio-political topic in Egypt.
The issue of press freedom and regulations was tackled by two journalists in the privately-owned Al-Shorouk newspaper, who both made statements about a new draft law expected to be passed.
Ayman Sayyad used a recent example where a media gag was imposed on a case related to corruption allegations of the largest charity hospital, saying what is worse than violating the law would be legalising violations. He added that vague texts in the law aim at scaring off journalists to silence them, even though it is impossible nowadays to keep information secret forever.
For Mohamed Saad Abdel Hafiz, the law is a “death penalty” for the press. He criticised the fact that freedom of the press would be labelled as lies that deserve to be punishable by detention. He also wrote that most media organisations are being nationalised.
On the media, Farouk Goweida’s commentary in state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram justified the state’s acquisition of private satellite channels on grounds that they are suffering economically and thus unable to keep up with their roles, much like closed factories where workers were laid off and production has stopped.
As for Al-Ahram’s Morsi Attallah, he wrote that some media organisations are still trying to spread incitement among Egyptians by making up stories or taking advantage of their suffering.
In the private Al-Masry Al-Youm, Abdullatif Al-Menawy brought up the media gag imposed by Makram Mohamed Ahmed, head of the Supreme Media Council, arguing that he should not have tried to ban coverage of the case, which has witnessed national exposure and debates by different parties, which has resulted in more knowledge for the public, who need to know about a hospital affecting many of their children’s futures.
In the same paper, Yasser Abdulaziz slammed media propaganda and praise for any one in power affecting their credibility and ability to have public influence. To him, the media should present all information and facts, leaving the final judgment to the people.
Meanwhile, on women’s rights, Mohamed El-Dessouky Roshdy wrote in the private Al-Youm Al-Sabea newspaper that the current regime has achieved victory for women’s empowerment by increasing their representation in parliament and the ministerial cabinet, refuting women rights defenders’ claims of gender inequality.