The Parliament’s Media and Culture Committee started on Tuesday discussing articles of the “Institutional Regulation of the Press and Media Law”.
This came one day after Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail issued a decision to start working on the new executive regulations of the Institutional Regulation of the Press and Media Law.
The decision that was published in Egypt’s official gazette included goals and functions of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, National Media Authority, and National Press Authority, and it also determines the members of the three institutions.
The creation of the three bodies was approved by Parliament in December 2016 and signed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in April to supervise the work of all Egyptian media outlets.
The Parliament’s Constitutional and Legislative Committee and the Planning and Budget Committee will join the discussion sessions.
The Media National Authority will be assigned to supervise radio and broadcasted media outlets, the Press National Authority will supervise state-owned newspapers, and the Higher Council for Media Regulations will regulate all media outlets in coordination with the previous authorities.
The three institutions will replace the Union of Broadcast and Radio Law of 1979, which was tasked to oversee the entire work of Egyptian media outlets. It also replaced another unified media bill formulated by media experts that was already approved by the Cabinet but not discussed in Parliament.
The Unified Media Law became neglected, and talks about it stopped, despite it being a main issue discussed over the past years for the future of the media.
The press community has been long awaiting the issuance of a Unified Media Law in order to tackle the ethical regulation of media and press outlets and fairly address the issue of imprisonment for crimes related to publishing, in accordance with constitutional articles guaranteeing freedom of expression and banning censorship.