By Tamim Elyan
CAIRO: Journalists called Monday for the expulsion of chief editors of state-owned newspapers and magazines, as well as the head of the Journalists’ Syndicate, Makram Mohamed Ahmed, for their stances during the revolution.
Journalists, gathering in a conference at the syndicate headquarters to discuss journalism in the post-revolution era, called for the execution of the Supreme Constitutional Court’s (SCC) ruling canceling law 100 and holding new elections on March 4, the date of the upcoming general assembly.
They expressed solidarity with the revolution and demanded the cancellation of the Higher Press Council and the prosecution of its head, Safwat El-Sherif, as well as chief editors of state-owned newspapers, magazines and state television.
Journalists and staff of state-owned media institutions have staged protests over the past two days calling for change of editorial policies and better working conditions.
“Our conference today was to support the demands of the revolution and refuse the practices of state-owned media … Ahmed who supported the regime on our expense during the revolution,” said Gamal Fahmy, board member of the Journalists’ Syndicate.
“We want a set of legislative and legal procedures to ensure freedom of journalism and better working conditions for journalists,” Fahmy added.
A group of journalists filed a complaint to the General Prosecutor demanding a travel ban on current and former chief editors of state-owned newspapers and starting an investigation into their wealth.
Journalists demanded legal reforms within the syndicate to ensure democracy and the reformation of the general assemblies and newspaper boards through elections and establishing journalists’ committees inside every newspaper.
They demanded that the “gap” between the wages of chief editors and journalists be narrowed, as well as the return of Al-Shaab newspaper, banned by the government, and adequate compensation for its journalists.
According to Fahmy, the general assembly next month will begin preparing for new elections and agree on new procedures to ensure fairness.
The conference saw heated discussions between journalists over their stance from Ahmed and the conferences’ recommendations.
Confrontations between a group of the Jan. 25 youth, who were invited to deliver a statement about the revolution, and journalists ensued when the youth refused to leave the stage.