Cabinet approves controversial media code draft
Journalist Syndicate Head Diaa Rashwan - YOUM7/Ahmed Ismail

CAIRO: The Cabinet approved Thursday the media honor code draft, submitted by the Ministry of Information, and presented it to the public, Youm7 reported.

Representatives from different civil, political and media organizations will be asked to discuss the media code before its final approval.

The draft code outlines that the main role of media is to serve the public without threatening national security and stresses the right of journalists to express their opinions freely.

According to the honor code, authorities do not have the right to suppress media workers if they do not violate the professional standards of journalism.

Diaa Rashwan, head of the Press Syndicate, said the honor code contradicts with the constitution, Wafd Newspaper reported. He stressed the need for forming a council to organize the media as an independent authority, as stipulated in the constitution.

However, Ain-Shams University professor Mohamed Shoman told Al-Bawaba news website the media code does not contradict the principles of media freedom, arguing that a large number of media workers were currently violating media standards.

Also on Al-Bawaba, Minister of Information Doria Sharaf al-Din said that she proposed the formation of a committee to receive complaints about violations of these standards.

Media expert Yasser Abdel-Aziz expressed his refusal of the honor code saying that such a code should be drafted by media workers and not the Ministry of Information.

He said in an interview with Arabiya satellite channel that TV channels and newspapers should be neutral during the coming presidential elections and cover electoral campaigns of all candidates equally.

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