Head of Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) Makram Mohamed Ahmed has said that there is no coordination between the SCMR and the Ministry of Information.
During an interview on the Sada el-Balad TV channel on Sunday, Ahmed said that the ministry of information has an executive powe, but is not the “sole ruler” of media in Egypt.
He added that some powers were taken from the SCMR without any of his consent.
Ahmed said that no one could abolish the roles of others or replace them, adding that the Ministry of Information “is not to the only body that gives orders or advice.”
“We need more freedom of speech and thinking. No one will grant this for you, you have to acquire it,” he said.
“When we speak of journalism, there has to be freedom. Egyptian journalists are respectful and know well the standards of the profession and its disciplines,” he added.
Ahmed noted that the chance to revive print journalism is weak. “It does not perform its role properly, and it has to exert more efforts. It has to improve its editorial performance.”
“There are many parties who would not take my word. But if we did not improve (journalism), who would?” Makram wondered.
Makram said that only journalists, as well as their syndicate and media institutions, are capable of improving the profession and ameliorating the current situation, not any one ministry or body.
Ahmed also mentioned that the SCMR has the credit to “end the frightening chaos that dominated the media over the last years.”
The ministry of information was brought back in the latest cabinet reshuffle on December 2019. The former head of parliament media and culture Osama Heikal took the post.
Ahmed commented on appointing Heikal in December and said that he is a “minister without a ministry,” pointing out that the law has not defined the minister’s responsibilities yet or the ministry’s relation with the SCMR or National Press Authority.