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Brotherhood trying to dominate Egypt's state media: journalist Montaser

Salah Montaser, member of committee to elect heads of state media, announces resignation Tuesday in protest of alleged attempts to give Muslim Brotherhood candidates editorships

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Jul 2012
Members of the Journalists Association said they fear the Shura Council’s standards will facilitate
Members of the Journalists Association said they fear the Shura Council’s standards will facilitate the appointment of chief editors loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood, who comprise the majority of the parliament(Photo by: Reuters)

Egyptian columnist and veteran journalist Salah Montaser accused the Shura Council, parliament's upper house, of attempting to award Muslim Brotherhood candidates the editorships of Egypt's state-owned newspapers, in a resignation letter Tuesday.

Montaser, who was a member of the assembly appointed by the Shura Council to elect the heads of state print media, resigned because he "felt that the committee is biased and is leaning towards choosing Muslim Brotherhood nominees."  

On 3 July, Egypt's upper house of parliament, which is dominated by the Islamist group's Freedom and Justice Party, announced it would begin accepting applications for new editors-in-chief of state-run publications.

A 14-member committee composed of six Shura MPs, four veteran journalists and four media professors will also consider the applications, after which a separate committee of Shura Council members will make the final selection.  

The criteria upon which a candidate can apply to the new posts were set by the Shura Council sparking uproar amongst journalists.

Hundreds protested outside the Journalists' Syndicate in downtown Cairo, accusing the Brotherhood of behaving like Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party by seeking to appoint its supporters to key media positions.

Montaser admitted in his resignation statement that "he does not have clear evidence or posses documents to prove his doubts" but that he is confident that his conclusions are correct and "are clear to anyone."

The newly-elected editors-in-chief are expected to be announced in the next few days. 


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