This paper is a result of a closed round table discussion; it expresses the personal opinion of its writers and does not necessarily express the opinion of the Arab Forum for Alternatives or Global Partners Governance
The Egyptian revolution has raised of the expectations of Egyptians regarding the various state and societal institutions. The Egyptian media had been previously referred to as biased and misleading, therefore this paper aims to suggest the various ways it could reform and liberate itself in order to deliver on its mission in such a pivotal moment in history. The general political instability as well as the lack of independence, technical know-how and general skills has led to the deterioration of the Egyptian media and its inability to report properly.
The author then cites various experiences from across the world, such as Channel 1 in Germany, which is composed of an independent union of local channels representing most federal state, the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA) in France, which provides protection to the principle of “audiovisual communication freedom” and the Office of Communcations (OFCOM) in the UK, a regulatory authority on broadcasting and telecommunications.
In order to improve the media outlets in Egypt, one must first launch an investigation into the financing of the different networks and companies as well as ensure the separation of their respective administration from the sources of capital.
A council, mirroring those mentioned above, could be set up to extend the reach of the information to all governorates. The administrations of all networks and media outlets should receive technical and strategic training. Research aimed at understanding the underlying psychological and socio-economic factors that govern today’s society may aid the outlets in tailoring the information to suit today’s citizen. Media persons should be protected from unlawful and unjust prosecution in order to achieve a healthy and constructive working environment for the industry as well as promote democratic values.
The author suggests that the parliament lay down new laws to protect the freedom of speech as well as the freedom of information. It should also set up a national council that would regulate and monitor the media and ensure their integrity. Civil society institutions also play a pivotal role, not only in monitoring the outlets, but participating in their evaluation as well. The networks themselves must abide by the various rules and regulations, maintain transparency in all of their reporting as well as uphold the values of their profession. It is only when all parties, whether institutions or individuals, participate in the reformation process and adapt to the values that the revolution propagated, is the cycle complete.