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Egypt's Shura Council looks again at national editors-in-chief

Board members and chief editors of state newspapers come into focus as Shura Council looks to define selection criteria not based on political patronage

Ahram Online, Sunday 10 Jun 2012
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Ahmed Fahmy, speaker of the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, moved to discuss in Sunday's session the final report of the joint committees on the measures of selecting new editor-in-chiefs for state owned newspapers.

The Shura Council is responsible for recruiting chief editors and boards of directors for state owned news organisations. Under the ousted regime, the Shura Council used this authority to appoint employees who would serve the state agenda.

The final report is a collaborative work of the culture, information, tourism, financial, economic, human resources, and local administration committees in parliament's upper house.

The report points out that deteriorated financial and administrative conditions in state owned press organisations is the result of the interference of power in the management of the chairmen and editors-in-chief of these organisations.

The report also stated that the Shura Council, "the real owner of those institutions," gave up on its role, so the institutions deviated with it.

The report also clarified there is no defined scheme for selecting boards of directors and administrative employees. This allowed individuals to be promoted according to the whims of power, which led to deficiencies in organisational structure and internal dictatorships.

The report concluded efficiency, experience and leadership skills must be valued and promoted when choosing board members and chief editors.

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