Conference Discusses Future of Broadcasting under the New Constitution
The first annual conference of the Broadcasting Department of the Faculty of Mass Communication of Cairo University (FOM) entitled "The Future of Broadcasting under the New Constitution" was held on March 16, 2014 in cooperation with the Regional Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF).
Some 140 academics, journalists, representatives of media institutions and other media specialists gathered for the one day event.
In his speech, Dr. Hassan Emad, the dean of the Mass Communication Faculty said that the new constitution contains three articles that guarantee the freedom and the independence of the media from state executive and legislative authorities. "We now need to issue laws to translate the constitutional articles into reality", he stressed.
Essam El Amir, Director of the Board of Trustees of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU), highlighted the importance of devising visions for new laws dealing with the structure of the National Media Council, the National Press Association and the National Broadcasting Association before the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The senior official shared with the audience the information that he had received part of his training in joint training programs cosponsored by FOM and the Foundation during his studies at Cairo University in the 80ies of last century. El Amir hailed FNF for her – as he said – positive contribution: "We have to applaud the work of this Foundation throughout 40 years in Egypt.
This work aims at preparing competent media cadres. El Amir went one step further and said: "I have the honor as the President of the ERTU to thank the Faculty and the Foundation for qualifying and preparing me for the position I am now in."
FNF's Regional Director Dr. Ronald Meinardus started out with a personal note saying that he profited much from the Egyptian media, who taught him "to understand Egypt better". He then said that the new constitution contains many democratic rights and could, therefore, be termed a "liberal constitution". The Foundation's representative said that free media play an important role in every free society. "Media freedom is a mirror of the state of a society's freedom."
The conference broke up into working groups that discussed such important aspects as media freedoms in the new constitution, the role of syndicates and codes of ethics in guaranteeing media standards. A big number of journalists covered the event which was also broadcasted live by one TV channel.