Egypt's press syndicate files complaint with prosecution about 'fake news' entities

MENA , Ahram Online , Tuesday 31 Dec 2019

The syndicate is concerned with the proliferation of 'false journalism entities' and has urged officials to only speak to journalists who work at recognised outlets

Journalists' Syndicate (Ahram online)

Egypt’s Journalists Syndicates has said it will file an official complaint with the country’s prosecutor-general against individuals and entities which use false journalistic identities, in violation of the law and constitution.

The decision to take legal action against these violators came after a meeting of the syndicate’s board to discuss what it described as the crisis of false journalism entities, which are granting individuals fake journalist cards.

The syndicate’s secretary-general, Amr Badr, said in statements on Tuesday that the syndicate council has prepared a list of the violating entities, which he put at 12, adding that a legal adviser has been assigned to follow up on the issue.

Syndicate head Diaa Rashwan also confirmed that the syndicate has addressed ministers and government officials on the topic, warning them against dealing with fake journalistic entities and individuals.

Rashwan added, during a meeting with the founders of the “Not a Journalist” campaign, that the syndicate has adopted several measures recently to confront this phenomenon, most importantly by submitting a number of reports to the country’s prosecutor-general against fake journalistic entities operating in violation of the law. 

“The syndicate also submitted reports against a number of fake entities and journalists that have been proven to have violated and transgressed the right to practice the profession,” Rashwan said.

He pointed out that the syndicate has notified all ministers, governors and security directors in governorates with official letters warning them against dealing with fake entities and journalists, and urging them only to deal with members of the syndicate and trainee journalists who work for recognised newspapers and websites. 

Rashwan said he has formed a new committee from some of the syndicate council members to follow up on this important issue, and to continuously monitor the complaints of journalists about fake entities and individuals, with the aim of protecting the safety of information.

In October, a number of journalists launched a campaign entitled "Not a Journalist," to alert the public about the necessity of checking accuracy in dealing with those who claim they work in media, urging them to deal with staff of recognised newspapers or those who are members of the syndicate.

The campaign explained in a statement that its goals are in accordance with president’s directives and the government's plan to regulate media performance and “confront the war of rumours,” and to combat misinformation, especially on social media pages, in the form of news and videos attributed to unknown channels and newspapers. 


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