By Mai Shams El-Din
CAIRO: Prime Minister Essam Sharaf met Thursday Editor-in-Chief of Al-Wafd newspaper Osama Heikel, candidate to head the Ministry of Information, Egynews.net website reported Thursday.
Cabinet spokesman Ahmed El-Semman said that Sharaf confirmed at the meeting the importance of the role of the media in the coming period, expressing his trust in Egyptian journalists and Heikel’s ability to restructure the media scene to meet modern standards.
Heikel told egynews.net that the government had decided to revive the Ministry of Information, which had been deactivated in February after a popular uprising ousted ex-president Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt’s state media came under fire during the January 25 uprising for a slew of malpractices, including the alleged incitement of violence against peaceful protesters.
More than one veteran TV journalists working at the Egyptian Radio and Television Union resigned in objection to what they described was the deliberate disinformation spread by the icons of the previous regime, which included then Information Minister Anas El-Fiqqi.
El-Fiqqi resigned from his post on Feb. 12, 2011, one day after Mubarak was forced to step down. Has was not replaced amid calls to cancel the information ministry altogether and replace it with an independent media regulatory authority.
Currently in Tora prison, El-Fiqqi was found not guilty of squandering public funds, but still faces more charges. The Illicit Gains Authority continues to investigate him.