The Shura Council ratified new members of the Supreme Council of the Press on Tuesday, according to state-owned MENA news agency. The new formation of the council includes the head of the Shura Council, Ahmed Fahmy, 16 senior staff editors of state-owned newspapers, and four chief editors of party-owned newspapers which are: Al-Wafd Party, the Freedom and Justice party (FJP), the Al-Nour Salafi party and the Ahrar party.
New members also include five press syndicate members: the head of the press syndicate Mamdouh Al-Waly alongside Ibrahim Hegazy, Osama Al-Ghazaly Harb, Mohamed Negm and Mohamed Kharaga.
Members of the union for journalism, printing and publishing workers are also included in the new council as well as four media and law professors.
The new collection also includes a big number of public figures such as: Ahmed Khalil, Nader Bakkar, Wa’el Qandil, Mohamed Al-Gawady, Khaled Salah, Osama Ayub, Ashraf Sadek, Ayman Refa’at Al-Mahgoob, Khaled Hassanein, Sameh Mahrous, Sou’ad Aboul Nasr, Qotb Al-Arabi Tarek Al-Sahri, Abeer Bashar, Azza Youssef, Fat-hy Shehab Al-Deen, Mohsen Hassanein, Mohamed Sherif Al-Abd, Magdy Al-Ma’sarawi, Nagui Al-Shehabi, Nala’ Mahfouz and Hadiet Abdel Nabi.
Though the new members belong to a relatively wide variety of political currents, several were frustrated by the appointments, especially the Islamist figures included.
“It’s yet another series of the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempt to inherit and re-engineer Mubarak’s regime.” Press Syndicate board member Gamal Fahmy told the Daily News Egypt, commenting on the new appointments. “They’re inheriting Mubarak’s worst leftover waste and reusing them to serve their own gains.”
According to Fahmy, the Brotherhood’s methodology began revealing itself upon the appointment of a Brotherhood member in the post of the Minister of Information, Salah Abdel Maqsood.
“Even the appointment of senior staff editors involved bringing over people who are not in the least bit related to the profession of journalism, some even known for being security agents.”
“What does someone as Nader Bakkar have to do with journalism?” Fahmy questioned, doubting that Bakkar even reads newspapers on a daily basis.
Bakkar is one of the spokespeople for Al-Nour Salafi party. His appointment as well as that of chief editor of independent daily Al-Youm Al-Sabaa, Khaled Salah, are the ones causing most controversy. Nevertheless, the Daily News Egypt wasn’t able to independently verify that Salah is indeed among the appointed.
Excerpt: The new appointments include a mixture of Islamists, revolutionaries, socialists as well as remnants of the old regime