Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said, on Saturday, that no government in the world could work in isolation from the media, and that with media evolution, spreading rumours becomes as easy as publishing facts.
The Prime Minister’s remarks came during the virtual The Future of Media conference, organised by Egypt’s Ministry of State for Information, which also included significant Egyptian and international participation.
Madbouly said that citizens have a responsibility to filter the information they receive through media outlets, as they should separate facts from fake news. He added that media professionals have a bigger responsibility in fact-checking information.
The Prime Minister noted that the sector’s future represents one of the main challenges facing politicians and professionals working in the field, particularly with the emergence of new means of communication.
He added that Egypt’s Ministry of State for Information made its return as part of the state’s desire to set media policies amid the sector’s accelerated evolution, and that of its tools and methods.
Egypt has added many policies in its Vision 2030 to ensure that its media sector keeps pace with international technological developments. This includes the implementation of financial inclusion policies that target a transition to the digital economy, as well as digitising government services, Madbouly said.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Information Osama Heikal said that the conference aims to recognise the experiments undertaken by other countries, and the perceptions of academics and professionals over the future of media.
Heikal said that the conference aims to reflect the reality of media in the modern world, and to discuss the sector’s future.
He added that freedom of expression is a matter of fact amid this amazing media evolution, as no one can prevent the circulation of information for a long time.
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat said that 43% of citizens in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region rely on social networks as a source for news
He added that due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, internet and social networks usage rates increased significantly in Egypt, with the use of social network messaging apps increasing by 44%.
The conference aimed to address the current and expected updates and development in the media field. It saw the participation of a large number of experts and professionals from Egypt and nine other countries.
Among the participants were: High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Miguel Ángel Moratinos; Jordan’s Minister of State for Media Affairs Ali Al Ayed; Bureau Chief at Al Arabiya News in Washington Nadia Bilbassy; and Country Director of Google in Egypt Hisham El Nazer