Egyptian media regulator bans journalists from using pseudonyms

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 May 2020

Makram mohamed Ahmed
Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation member Makram mohamed Ahmed (Al-Ahram)

The Egyptian Supreme Council for Media Regulation has forbidden journalists or writers contributing articles to any newspaper or website from using a pseudonymous byline without first obtaining written consent from the council.

The decision, published in the official state gazette on Tuesday, obligates press institutions to submit a request clarifying the duration of and purpose behind using the nickname, as well as the author’s real name.

The decision has been added to the code of conduct and ethics in media and journalism outlets created by the state-owned Egyptian media regulator last year.

The council last month fined the privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper EGP 250,000 (approximately $16,000) and forced it to publish an apology for three op-ed pieces on Sinai, written under the byline “Newton" in April.

The articles contained “serious violations" according to the media regulator.

The council referred the incident to the country's prosecutor-general last month.

The paper's editor-in-chief had been referred to the disciplinary committee of the Egyptian press syndicate as well.

Newton's column is one of the most popular articles in Al-Masry Al-Youm. It first appeared in 2004. It is known to be written by founder of the paper Salah Diab.

Diab was banned from appearing in any mass medium for one month by the council on the back of the violations in his articles.

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