Strife continues inside state owned media

Nourhan El-Abbassy, Sunday 6 Mar 2011

Egypt’s top government owned newspapers’ journalists protest in Al-Sahafa street demanding their heads to step down

Protesting journalists of  Akhbar El Youm
Protesting journalists of Akhbar El Youm

With the spirit of rebellion hitting institutions across the country, the state owned media continues to get its fair share of internal strife. More than 50 journalists protested on Sunday in-front of the downtown offices of the state-owned Akhbar El Youm, demanding the sacking of the top management of the media organization, which issues the daily Al Akhbar, the weekend Akhbar El Youm and a host of other publications.

“Egypt is changing and corruption is ending, it’s time we get rid of the corrupt figures that used to cater the Mubarak regime. It’s time we work for the people not for the government against the people,” said Essam Attia, assistent editor of Akher Sa'a, a weekly magazine issued by Akhbar El Youm.

Protesting journalists also demanded that the wide gap in staff wages be narrowed, the editor-in-chief's authority be circumscribed, and the government controlled Supreme Press Council be abolished.

Mohamed Ahmed a 28 year old journalist had other demands, “I want a contract, I have been working here for 6 years, even though Egyptian law states that after six months the employee is either dismissed or is granted a permanent job.”

A smaller group were protesting before the offices of Al-Ahram, across the street. Al-Ahram is the top news organization in the country, issuing the daily Al-Ahram and some 17 other publications. Here too, protesters who have been holding meetings and protest rallies for a few weeks, are demanding a change of leadership, fairer wage schemes and better working conditions.

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