Former head of Parliament’s committee of Media and Culture Osama Heikal was appointed as minister of state for media affairs for the second time, after a limited cabinet reshuffle on Sunday.
Heikal was the first minister of information following the 2011 revolution. Heikal remained in post for seven months, from June 2011 to December 2011. Two other ministers followed Heikal until the ministry was officially abolished in 2014 shortly after President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took office in June the same year.
Beside his post in the parliament, he was also selected as chairperson of the Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC) in 2014 and served as vice president of the parliament’s majority bloc, Egypt Support.
The veteran journalist started his work in press field in the 80s as an investigative reporter in the partisan newspaper Al-Wafd. Heikal was a reporter in presidential and military affairs and his coverages mainly focused on politics.
Throughout his work as a journalist, he has served in Al-Wafd newspaper for long years, holding several positions until he became deputy editor in chief of Al-Wafd newspaper in 2005.
The Radio and Television Union known as Maspero faced some credibility issues with audiences after the 2011 revolution. At that time, Heikal attempted to improve media content and retain its credibility through interviewing revolution leaders and airing live coverages for several important events such as the trail of ex-president Mubarak and his sons.
He also contributed to improve some of the issues in Maspero’s administration when he was minister in 2011 such as setting a maximum wage for salaries, increasing the salaries of small workers, and facilitating travel procedures of media personnel.
During his time in parliament, he led the discussion of three Media and Press laws, which he believes included unprecedented guarantees, freedom of journalism and media.
Heikal received a number of press awards for his journalistic work. He managed to cover several important events around the world such as covering Egyptian peace-keeping forces in Somalia, the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1994, and the American invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Heikal obtained a fellowship in strategy and national security in 1997, and participated in the discussion of 50 scientific papers and fellowship degrees in media for researchers from Egypt and Arab countries.
The name of the ministry changed after it was previously known as the ministry of information, but its main responsibilities are not yet announced. Following the abolishment of the ministry, Al-Sisi ordered the creation of the three bodies; the National Press Authority, the National Media Authority, and the Supreme Media Council, to oversee and regulate the work of media and the press.