CAIRO: The Journalists’ Syndicate Council decided to allow the foreign journalists to join the syndicate, according to a press release issued on Thursday.
The council discussed in a meeting on Wednesday that both foreign and Egyptian journalists working in Egypt and the Egyptians working abroad could affiliate with the syndicate. This decision would improve the financial resources of the syndicate through membership fees.
Sara Darwish, a non-syndicate member, told The Cairo Post Thursday that some media organizations exploit young journalists to work extra hard for them under the pretext of nominate them to be syndicate members.
Foreign journalists could join the Foreign Press Association before, the largest organization for them in Egypt, so why would they need to join the syndicate? Darwan asked. She demanded the syndicate to ease the conditions it requests from journalists to join the syndicate, wondering if foreigners would benefit from the same advantages the syndicate offers to Egyptians.
Nesma Fares, another Egyptian journalist who is not a member of the syndicate, told The Cairo Post that “we respect foreign journalists as colleagues but will the syndicate treat them equal as Egyptians regarding the advantages?”
Fares said that Egyptians are not admitted to any journalists association until they are syndicate members, which means for a lot of journalists there is no organization to protect their rights. She wondered about the conditions that the syndicate would put for foreigners to join and if these conditions would be as strict as those for Egyptians.
Syndicate council member Khaled al-Balshy stated to The Cairo Post that the conditions for foreigners to join are still under discussion. He added that the decision of the council to allow individual applications from journalists without a reference or nominee from a newspaper, benefits both foreigners and Egyptians.
“The decision guarantees providing more opportunities for the Egyptian and foreigner journalists to facilitate their work within the big number of the non-syndicalists,” Balshy said.
He further said that the new members would include journalists of news agencies and foreign newspapers that work in Egypt and Egyptian journalists working abroad, adding that the foreigners’ membership fees may be slightly more than the fees for Egyptians.