The Media Standards Review Committee (MRC) for the 2010 People’s Assembly issued its first report on Nov. 13, 2010.
The MRC is responsible for monitoring the media to see if they are following the guidelines set by the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) regarding media coverage of the electoral campaign. Furthermore, it ensures that all candidates are given fair and accurate coverage in the Egyptian media.
The key findings of the report include six violations made by public television — four of which regarded the promotion of NDP candidates, such as Minister of Petroleum Sameh Fahmy and Minister of State for Military Production Sayed Meshal, who are running in the elections.
The violations made by private television all stemmed from its questioning of the elections’ credibility and from political parties promoting themselves. However, Al Faraeen channel received more violations than any of the other channels, mainly due to its show “Parliament and Parties” which, according to the MRC, has “purposely engaged in campaigning and made no distinction between coverage and advertising.”
The MRC listed a number of recommendations for all media outlets in its report. Its recommendations include encouraging people to vote, respecting the right of all candidates and parties to respond to any allegations that are made against them, verifying all facts before broadcasting them, ensuring that TV presenters are objective and balanced, providing all political parties with equal opportunities to present their points of view, and avoiding any content that questions the integrity of the election or its procedures.
Minister of Information Anas El-Fiqqi referred the recommendations to the head of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union, asking him to hold anyone who does not follow these recommendations personally accountable. El-Fiqqi also forwarded the MRC’s recommendations to the Ministry of Investment, which supervises the free zones in which all private satellite channels operate.