Rebuilding Egyptian Media for a Democratic Future
Council Hall of the Supreme Council of Culture,
Cairo Opera House Cultural Complex
30-31 March, 2011
Appendix 1: List of Participants
Appendix 2: Speaker Bios
Appendix 3: Conference Programme
Appendix 4: Closing Statement
Appendix 4: Sources of Guidance on
Public Service Broadcasting
Rebuilding Egyptian Media for a Democratic Future
Executive Summary of Conference Proceedings
The conference on Rebuilding Egyptian Media for a Democratic Future took place in Cairo on 30-31 March under the auspices of Professor Emad Abou Ghazi, Egypt’s Minister of Culture, and the chairmanship of Dr Basyouni Hamada, Professor of Communication and Public Opinion at Cairo University and Dr Naomi Sakr, Professor of Media Policy at the University of Westminster, UK. The conference was attended by 59 media, communication and law scholars and professionals from Egypt and 15 other countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Jordan, Lithuania, Palestine, Romania, Serbia, South Africa, USA, UK: see Appendix 1), as well as groups of Egyptian university students, and was addressed by 30 speakers (Appendix 2) representing 19 institutions, including universities, broadcasters, media production companies, non-governmental organisations and one intergovernmental body (UNESCO).
Debates took place in eight sessions (Appendix 3), the last of which produced a collective closing statement (Appendix 4). Of the remaining seven sessions, some sought to extract lessons learned from previous democratisations or identify universal challenges of establishing and sustaining democratic media. Others focused on the Egyptian context, including how to create an enabling environment for media democratisation and ways of democratising state-owned media. The summary that follows therefore encompasses findings that have emerged internationally and may be relevant to the new situation in Egypt, while also addressing specifics of Egyptian media. It is based around four themes that emerged from presentations and discussions.
The first line of argument was one that identified prerequisites for creating a situation in which media enable societies to see themselves — to see both the richness of their diversity and the dangers of inequality. Not all previous democratic transformations have lived up to the promise of achieving radical change in social relations. One presentation demonstrated how post-apartheid media in South Africa were implicated in a negotiated transformation that preserved elements of social relations forged under apartheid. Despite early advances in transforming broadcasting, progressive forces in South Africa did not remain mobilised for long enough to prevent ‘rationalisation’ and retrenchment of the national public broadcaster, which involved dismantling its programme production and reducing local content. Meanwhile the number of newspapers declined. As a result the country’s media transformation was premised ‘largely on a commercial media model with limited public service top-up’, shaped by the ‘growing division of South Africa into a two-tier society of “haves” and “have-nots”. Because of the interplay between media commercialisation and social inequality, society became less able to ‘see itself’ or resolve its problems.
Egyptian conference participants who had experienced what they described as the atmosphere of common purpose, free expression, tolerance and inclusion among revolutionary protestors in Tahrir Square looked to a reconstructed media landscape to engage with the complexities of Egyptian society and embrace the possibilities for a fundamental cultural re-imagining of the nation, difference, inclusion and citizenship. Various studies presented to the conference demonstrated how modes of representing gender, age, geography, piety, class, respectability and nationalism had been rigorously policed under Mubarak’s authoritarian regime, leaving large swathes of society invisible or misrepresented. There was strong agreement among speakers that editorially independent public service broadcasting should be a central pillar of Egypt’s future media landscape, being given the responsibility to reflect the nation’s diverse cultures, concerns and constituencies truthfully and comprehensively.
As highlighted in the conference closing statement’s reference to diversity of media ownership, participants envisaged public service broadcasting operating in conditions of fair competition alongside private commercial broadcasters and not-for-profit community broadcasters. Experts on the financing and regulation of public service broadcasters showed how they can be legally required to represent all groups in society, irrespective of those groups’ purchasing power and attractiveness to advertisers. This requirement applies to all genres of programming, not only news. But it is closely aligned with the journalist’s professional duty to serve the public by holding power to account, promoting transparency and stimulating debate. It was pointed out that the conduct of a wide and inclusive public conversation through the media helps to undermine prejudice and intolerance and thereby forge social cohesion. Moreover, the duties of a public service broadcaster can be buttressed through a requirement on multiple broadcasters to provide public service content.
Any frank and uninhibited public conversation depends on legal protection for free and responsible speech, which in turn depends on strengthening the rule of law. The conference heard how a project in the Balkans in 2000-02 had helped media workers to overcome their fear of speaking freely by protecting them against lawsuits for defamation, while also protecting society against extremist speech. Another project, in which German journalists shared their experience of self-regulation mechanisms with colleagues in Tajikistan, had helped to avert government imposition of laws that threatened to narrow the country’s newfound opportunities for speaking freely. It was recognised that the tasks of strengthening legal protections and professional development for media workers are interlinked. An exposition of UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDI) showed how the MDI categories for assessing media freedom, independence and pluralism (namely: regulation, ownership, democratic discourse, professional capacity development and institution-building) are all equally important and must be considered holistically.
Several speakers referred to the short window of opportunity that exists after the fall of an authoritarian regime in which to put the prerequisites for media democratisation in place. Indeed, this sense of urgency explains why the conference organisers held it so soon after Egypt’s 25th January Revolution had achieved some of its initial goals. For example, the performance of media will be key to Egypt’s forthcoming election campaigns. If the media fail to provide fair, balanced and impartial representation of all political actors with immediate effect, the resulting disappointment and disillusion will be deeply damaging.
In order to create a public service broadcaster as the linchpin of fair and balanced coverage, the most important prerequisite was seen as political will. In this regard, Egypt’s situation was thought to compare favourably with others elsewhere, given that political will was being energised through a combination of top-down and bottom-up pressures for a break with the country’s immediate past. Given the importance of political will, participants were advised not to treat laws and regulations as inevitably the first or determining factor in opening the door to democratic initiatives. A specialist in community broadcasting pointed out that political circumstances may present ‘rather narrow windows of opportunity at key stages of development’, so it is important to be ready to seize brief opportunities for media initiatives that may arise from a legal vacuum, tacit acceptance or explicit interim measures.
Media democratisation activists in the Balkans had also learned the importance of ‘seizing the momentum’, because the public’s favourable attitude towards the media immediately after a profound political transformation cannot be relied upon to last. Studies of post-communist media transitions showed that ‘real life facts’ (such as battles for media control, audience fragmentation, commercially-driven trivialisation and sensationalisation of news) intervene in a way that puts the media at risk of being made a scapegoat for failures in building democracy. The revitalised media landscape needs to work quickly in the public interest to prevent the solidarity created by the profound transformation from fading away.
How then to ensure that progressive forces in Egypt remain mobilised to achieve a lasting and deep-rooted transformation of institutions, including institutions responsible for media regulation, production and distribution? There is always a risk of negotiations being restricted to small technical groups who put too much trust in the new forces in power. Yet several speakers argued forcefully that those media bodies which appeal to all sections of the public, reflect the citizens’ culture and values, and provide them with a trusted source of fair and accurate news, will gain public support. Such support is one of their best protections against government interference. ‘If the audience loves you, the politicians can’t touch you’ was how one put it.
Transparency was found to be a chief common feature of regulatory and accountability mechanisms that had been built successfully through consensus. Conference participants agreed that media structures that grow out of Egypt’s 25th January Revolution should use transparent and agreed methods of empirical measurement to count such things as volumes and genres of local production and audience size, composition and appreciation. In particular, a credible and verifiable system of measuring audiences was highlighted as a long-missing catalyst that was urgently needed for the growth of a healthy media environment. Similarly, the method of financing public service broadcasting was considered critical to the process of making it accountable to the public. A public service broadcaster cannot be independent if it is financed from general taxation and is part of the government budgeting and accounting system, with employees as civil servants. Instead the public service broadcaster needs a dedicated source of income (perhaps derived from a levy on commercial communications service providers and/or communication and recording devices) and an independent Board to oversee its objectives and the procedures for assessing whether or how far these have been met.
Accountability needs clear rules and its corollary is a system of sanctions that are enforced when rules are broken or objectives are not met. Importantly, it was shown that sanctions can work not only to the public’s benefit but also to that of media investors and their outlets. In the case of a media-created Press Council that imposes sanctions for violation of a professionally-agreed ethical code, the public denunciation of unsubstantiated reporting brings a loss of credibility to the offending entity, followed by a loss of audience and a loss of advertising. In such a self-regulated system, fair and responsible reporting thus becomes a means to economic viability and profit.
Given that free, independent, pluralistic and responsible media are strongly related to the vitality of civil society and rule of law, the conference participants agreed that Egypt’s state-owned media must be urgently and fundamentally transformed. This transformation is needed for state-owned newspapers, which have hitherto been misnamed as the ‘national press’, implying that other newspapers are less committed to serving the nation. It is also needed for the government-controlled Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU), which was implicated in the political despotism, economic corruption, social inequality and cultural bankruptcy of the collapsed regime. The conference concluded that transformation of state press and broadcasting is the most important factor in rebuilding Egyptian media for a democratic future. Speakers made the following observations in relation to each element.
First, unlike radio and TV, newspapers have the capacity to accommodate the widest possible range of opinions, which are crucial to enriching public debate. But newspapers, driven by the interests of advertisers, segment readers according to their spending habits and attractiveness to advertisers, which leaves poor and marginalised groups uncatered for by the commercial press. Since evidence from other countries shows that competition rules are not up to the task of safeguarding the survival of small or minority media in the face of expanding media oligopolies, there is a need for media-specific legislation to protect diversity of voices. Terminating state ownership of newspapers in Egypt must be accompanied by opportunities for the Egyptian public to own and manage print media organisations, with elected editorial boards and boards of trustees, as part of a transformed legal and ethical framework for media operations. Egyptian academics suggested converting state-owned newspapers into publicly listed shareholding institutions that all Egyptians have a right to own, oversee and hold accountable in terms of budgets, editorial policy and ethics.
Secondly, where the ERTU is concerned, a major challenge exists. Overstaffing at the ERTU and its ballooning financial deficit are a legacy of the Mubarak regime. They call for swift action that avoids causing hardship to poorly-paid people whose livelihoods are at stake. Thus there are several strands to the process of reorganising state broadcasting. The priority is to replace the old structure with independently regulated public service broadcasting in accordance with the principles and values discussed above, including maximum public consultation on any plan for change. The conference was informed of several published sources of expert guidance on the creation of public service broadcasting which are freely available online (Appendix 5).
At the same time there is no excuse for limiting privately-owned television channels to satellite transmission. As a signatory to international human rights treaties, including covenants on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, Egypt has a legal duty to ensure that its domestic laws accord with its international commitments. Media legislation redrafted to meet these obligations will be based de facto on international standards and principles of free expression and public accountability. The 2005 UN Convention on Cultural Diversity legalises special protection for cultural goods as more than mere objects of trade.
International norms also apply where media workers are concerned. It was agreed that framework legislation for the media should be introduced in consultation with journalists, to ensure that their independence is safeguarded. It was seen as most urgent for journalists in Egypt’s audiovisual sector to gain union representation, since only a fully independent journalists’ union can constitute a united force that will self-regulate on matters of ethics and professional standards.
Conference participants agreed that the foregoing summary should be drafted as a record of the proceedings. The summary, like the conference itself, identifies components of the legal and political environment that will enable Egyptian media to advance democratic goals. Like the conference, the summary ends by restating the need for fundamental change in media in order to protect the values and gains of the 25th January Revolution.
APPENDICES follow, on pages 7-22
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Abdel-Aal, Doaa, Media Diversity Institute, Egypt
Abd El-Hamaid, Mohamed, Helwan University, Egypt
Abdel-Rahman, Awatef, Cairo University, Egypt
Abdullah, Rasha, AUC, Egypt
Abu Oaf, Mervat, AUC, Egypt
Agwa, Ali, Cairo University, Egypt
Ali, Hany M., Cairo University, Egypt
Allam, Rasha, AUC, Egypt
Al Mirazi, Hafez, AUC, Egypt
Aly, Ramy, University of Sussex, UK
Amin, Hussein, AUC, Egypt
Ashmawi, Dalia, AUC, Egypt
Atteya, Hesham, Cairo University, Egypt
Barakat, Walid F., Cairo University, Egypt
Barnett, Steven, University of Westminster, UK
Barsalou, Judy, Ford Foundation, Egypt
Belail, Ali, Orbit Productions, Egypt
Bencomo, Clarisa, Ford Foundation, Egypt
Boev, Boyko, Article 19, UK
Buckley, Steve, Community Media Solutions, UK
Coman, Mihai, University of Bucharest, Romania
Dawoud, Aliaa, AUC, Egypt
Derry, Simon, BBC World Service Trust, UK, and European Broadcasting Union, Switzerland
Duncan, Jane, Rhodes University, South Africa
Elgindi, Ibtessam A., Cairo University, Egypt
El-Hadeedy, Mona, Cairo University, Egypt
El-Sayed, Saed, Cairo University, Egypt
Fahmy, Amany A., Cairo University, Egypt
Faragalla, Hamdi, BBC Arabic, Cairo, Egypt
Ghaly, Mehrez, Cairo University , Egypt
Hares, Saber, Sohaj University, Egypt
Hamada, Basyouni, Cairo University, Egypt
Hassan, Abdulla, Reuters Institute, Oxford, UK and Cairo, Egypt
Hassan, Ammar Ali, Middle East News Agency, Egypt
Hassan, Hamdy, Misr International University, Egypt
Høiberg, Jesper, International Media Support, Denmark
Jain, Savyasaachi, University of Westminster, UK
Jouan, Virginie, World Association of Newspapers, France
Khalil, Mahmoud, Cairo University, Egypt
Kocache, Mokhtar, Ford Foundation, Egypt
Lukosiunas, Marius, UNESCO, Egypt
Macinnes, Eric, TwoFour54, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Matar, Dina, SOAS, University of London, UK
Michalis, Maria, University of Westminster, UK
Mills, Andrew, Northwestern University, Qatar
Omar, Manal, US Institute of Peace, US
Pesic, Milica, Media Diversity Institute, UK
Rupar, Verica, Cardiff University, UK
Sakr, Naomi, University of Westminster, UK
Salah, Khaled, Cairo University, Egypt
Salama, Ayman, Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Egypt
Salh, Solaiman, Cairo University, Egypt
Samih, Ahmed, Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies, Egypt
Smith, Elizabeth, O.B.E, Commonwealth Media Group, UK
Tatomir, Biljana, Open Society Foundation, UK
Wagtmann, Michael, International Media Support, Denmark
Weigand, Florian, Deutsche Welle (DW-Akademie), Germany
Zaarour, Monir, International Federation of Journalists, Belgium
Zaidah, Sawsan, Radio Al-Balad, Jordan
BIOGRAPHIES OF SPEAKERS IN APPROXIMATE ORDER OF APPEARANCE IN THE PROGRAMME
DAY ONE March 30th
Boyko Boev is Legal Officer at ARTICLE 19 in London. He became a human rights activist during his legal studies at Sofia University. Since his admission to the Sofia Bar in 2001, he has represented, on behalf of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, victims of human rights violations before Bulgarian courts and the European Court of Human Rights and has worked as an independent consultant on human right projects. He holds an LL.M. degree from Columbia University School of Law, where he studied as a Fulbright fellow. In 2006, Boykov Boev was admitted as a doctoral student at Potsdam University in Germany. Before joining ARTICLE 19 in January 2008, he worked with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw.
Jane Duncan is Highway Africa Chair of Media and Information Society in the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. This Chair is sponsored by South Africa’s Department of Communications in line with the country’s commitments to advancing the Information Society, which it made at the 2003 United Nations World Summit on the Information Society. Professor Duncan is a prominent media activist and former executive director of the Freedom of Expression Institute. She has three post-graduate degrees, and has written widely on media policy and media freedom issues. Since 2010 she has had responsibility for Highway Africa’s annual conference, now the world’s largest annual gathering of African journalists.
Andrew Mills is an Assistant Professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University’s campus in Qatar. He has worked as a journalist in the Arab world since 2006, when he left his job as a political reporter on the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, and moved to Beirut. His reporting on Arab countries and South Asia can be found online, in magazines and newspapers and on radio. Having spent a considerable amount of time reporting from Egypt over the years, Andrew Mills ofis following Egypt’s post-revolution transition to democracy as an academic and a journalist.
Florian Weigand, former project manager of the 2008/09 Programme for Media Self-Regulation in Tajikistan, is currently DW-Akademie’s Regional Coordinator for Afghanistan and Pakistan. DW-Akademie is the educational branch of Germany’s international radio and TV broadcaster Deutsche-Welle. It trains journalists in professional skills all over the world and advises radio and TV stations, including on the promotion of ethical standards in media.
Monir Zaarour is Co-ordinator for the Middle East and Arab World in the Secretariat of the International Federation of Journalists. He graduated with an MA in International Conflict Analysis at the Brussels School of International Studies in November 2006.
Rasha Allam is a Lecturer in Journalism and Mass Communication and PhD Candidate in Business Administration at the American University in Cairo, where she specialises in media management. She serves on the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of Social Studies and the Journal of Telecommunication and Information Technology. Her research interests include Egyptian and Arab media systems, Arab press law and Arab media laws and regulations.
Ali Belail is Director of Programmes at Orbit Productions Egypt. He is a TV professional and executive with wide experience in, and knowledge of, the regional television industry and a comprehensive awareness of diverse global television systems, particularly the British and American models. He has eight years’ experience in running a news gathering and documentary department and has been producer or director of social, cultural, entertainment and political programmes and documentaries. He has been involved in setting up several premium Egyptian channels, drawing up programming strategy and developing systems at the executive and senior management levels. Ali is a regular columnist and contributor on Sudanese affairs and television and media affairs.
Steve Buckley is a communication rights activist and expert in
comparative media policy, law and regulation, with extensive
international experience including in countries of North Africa and
the Middle East. He is a Board Member and immediate past President of
the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and has also been a Council Member of the International Freedom of Expression
Exchange (IFEX). He has been a consultant to UNESCO, the World Bank, UK Department for International Development, Open Society Institute and Panos Institute West Africa among others. His recent publications
include Broadcasting Voice and Accountability: A Public Interest Approach to Policy, Law and Regulation (University of Michigan Press), The African Broadcasting Charter: A Comparative Study of its Impact in West Africa (Panos Institute West Africa)and Community Broadcasting: A Good Practice Handbook (UNESCO) He holds a BA in Psychology (Cambridge) and MA in Sociology (Essex).
Marius Lukosiunas is the Advisor for UNESCO Communication and Information Program, UNESCO Cairo Cluster Office for Egypt, Sudan and Libya, a post he has held since September 2010. He has a PhD from Moscow State University and and has held research fellowships in Norway and the US. Dr Lukosiunas has been a TV reporter, presenter and editor at Lithuanian National TV, editor of the Baltic Media Law and Practice Newsletter, Press and Information Officer at the OSCE Bosnia & Herzegovina Mission, Project Manager at the European Journalism Centre in Maastricht, and head of the Press Service of the President of Lithuania. Between 2000 and 2004 he held posts with the UN Mission in Kosovo.
Ayman Salama is Professor of International Law and International Relations at the Faculty of Mass Communication, Cairo University. He holds a PhD in Public International Law from the University of Alexandria for a thesis that discussed international responsibility in the crime of genocide. He has an International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance from Fordham University in New York and worked as Liaison Officer and Translator for the Egyptian Peace-keeping Forces in Bosnia in 1997-98, for which he was awarded a NATO medal. His most recent book is Post-Conflict Justice Mechanism in the Arab World since 1945 (English version 2008).
Sawsan Zaidah is a radio producer and presenter at Radio Al-Balad, the first community radio in Jordan and the first Internet-based radio in the Arab region. She is also the manager of the media watchdog website and radio show Eye on the Media, a media consultant and trainer, expert in media content analysis and Board Member for the MENA Region of AMARC, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters. Ms Zaidah has an MA in Online Journalism from Nottingham Trent University in the UK.
Rasha A. Abdulla is Associate Professor (tenured) and Chair of Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University in Cairo. She has a PhD in Communication (December 2003) from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Her BA (’92) and MA (’96) in Journalism and Mass Communication are both from AUC. Dr. Abdulla is an international consultant who has provided training on behalf of IREX, Internews, the Anna Lindh Foundation, the Open Society Institute, Freedom House, Institute Panos Paris, Cospe International, Media Diversity Institute, Meridian Eaton International, NovoNordisk, the African Journalists’ Union, Iraqi journalists, and others. She is the author of The Internet in Egypt and the Arab World, published in Arabic by Afaq Publications (2005), The Internet in the Arab World: Egypt and Beyond (Peter Lang Inc. 2007), Policing the Internet in the Arab World (Emirates Center for Strategic Study and Research 2009) and numerous other research articles and book chapters. In 2007, she received the Excellence in Research Award from the School of Business, Economics, and Communication at the American University in Cairo.
Ramy Aly is a Research Fellow at the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. His Ph.D. in Social-Anthropology (University of Sussex) focuses on Arabs in London and performative approaches to gender and ethnicity. He has conducted research on transnational Arab media and changing political cultures in the European Union at the London School of Economics and has contributed to research on Arabic language media for the ‘Diasporas@TheWorldService’ and ‘Tuning In’ projects at the Open University and the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC). Dr Aly currently teaches courses on Material Culture, Culture and Representation and Discourse Analysis at the University of Sussex.
Simon Derry is the BBC World Service Trust’s Regional Director for Central Asia and the Caucasus, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and North Africa and the Middle East. He also manages the Trust’s work in Afghanistan. Simon has worked in community, local, national and international radio. He has an MBA from Bradford University, a Diploma in Journalism from the University of Wales College Cardiff, a Masters in Economic History and a BA in Classical Archaeology. He moved full-time into the field of international development after working on the BBC TV current affairs show Newsnight and with the BBC World Service News, moving to Pakistan in 1996 and working as editor and manager for the BBC Pashto and Persian Service and the Afghan Education project in Peshawar. His experience gained over 10 years in the field of communication for development has seen him devise or supervise a wide range of media interventions in very different environments.
Savyasaachi Jain is a PhD student at the University of Westminster in London, having joined the University with more than 25 years’ experience as a media practitioner and international media trainer, with expertise in conceptualizing and managing large international media development initiatives and capacity building for journalists in Asia, Africa and Central America. He was Asia Projects Coordinator for The Thomson Foundation and has conducted a range of workshops for the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA), the inter-governmental organizations Asia-Pacific Institute of Broadcasting Development (AIBD) and Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), UNESCO and UNDP. Mr Jain developed his expertise on public service broadcasting while interacting with media professionals from nearly two dozen countries as moderator, facilitator and consultant at events organised by UNESCO, the AIBD and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. He was a member of the international Expert Group that developed An Asia-Pacific Approach to Public Service Broadcasting: A Guidebook (2010).
Elizabeth Smith, O.B.E, is Chair of the Commonwealth Media Group. She was previously Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (1994-2010), Controller of English Services at the BBC World Service (1987-94), and Head of Current Affairs for the BBC World Service (1984-87). She began her career working in news, current affairs and consumer programmes on BBC domestic radio. Ms Smith is currently writing a booklet for UNESCO on transforming state broadcasters into public service ones.
Mervat Abou Oaf is a professor at AUC, teaching courses on Mass Media Law and Policy; Global Media; Advanced Reporting for the Media; Writing for Print Media; Print Editing; Editing Wire News; Writing for Broadcast (TV & Radio); Writing News Releases and Newsletters; Writing Feature Stories; Advocacy Writing; Communication Law; International Communication; Press Theories; Media Ethics; Media in Middle East & North Africa; Advanced and Investigative Reporting; together with workshops for Communication Skills, Negotiation Skills and Presentation Skills. She has served for three years as Director for Undergraduate Studies in Journalism and Mass Communication and has been member of the AUC Senate since February 2009. Professor Abou Oaf co-chaired the organizing committee of the Arab and United States Association for Communication Educators (AUSACE) conference that was hosted by AUC in Egypt in 2010. She is the Editor-in-Chief of AdLife and appears every Saturday in the Breakfast Show on Nile TV.
Mihai Coman is a Professor at the University of Bucharest, Romania, from where he holds his PhD and where he became the first Dean of the University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication Studies and the first coordinator of its doctoral studies in communications. He has held visiting professorships at universities in Dortmund, Grenoble, Paris and Quebec. Until 1989 he specialized in cultural anthropology, with special reference to Romanian folklore, after which he started to apply his anthropological approach to media, publishing reference works on mass media and journalism in both Romanian and French academic journals and books. Professor Coman has published widely on transformations in the mass media in post-communist countries.
Aliaa Dawoud holds a PhD from the University of Westminster and an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo (AUC). Her PhD thesis was entitled ‘Utilizing Mass Media in the Political Empowerment of Egyptian Women.’ She currently teaches at AUC.
Verica Rupar is a Lecturer in the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. She has worked with the London-based Media Diversity Institute since 2008 on developing Reporting Diversity modules as part of journalism courses at universities in Egypt and Morocco. Her teaching and research interests are in comparative journalism studies, especially international reporting, political reporting and science reporting. Her current projects are on journalism and meaning making (edited collection Journalism and Meaning-making: Reading the Newspaper, Hampton Press, 2009) and on journalism form and style in historical and comparative contexts (involving a series of projects on journalism practice in Serbia, New Zealand, Australia and the UK).
Milica Pesic is Executive Director of the Media Diversity Institute (London). A journalist by profession, she has reported for TV Serbia, the BBC, Radio Free Europe, The Times HES and other media. She holds an MA in International Journalism from City University, London. Milica has worked for the International Federation of Journalists (Brussels), the Alternative Information Network (Paris), and New York University’s Center for War, Peace and the News Media. She has lectured at the University of Westminster and City University (UK); Toronto, Concordia and Carleton Universities (Canada) ; Michigan and St. Lawrence Universities (USA). She is a Media and Diversity Expert for the Council of Europe. She has done media training for the UN, Council of Europe, UNICEF, OSI, EBDR, New York University, Internews, Freedom Forum and IFJ.
DAY TWO March 31st
Awatef Abdel-Rahman is Professor of Media at Cairo University
Further details to come
Naomi Sakr is Professor of Media Policy and author of a background paper entitled ‘The Impact of Media Laws on Arab Digital and Print Content’, which was commissioned for the Arab Knowledge Report 2009. Her books include Arab Television Today (2007) and Satellite Realms: Transnational Television, Globalization and the Middle East (2001), as well as two edited collections: Arab Media and Political Renewal: Community, Legitimacy and Public Life (2007) and Women and Media in the Middle East: Power through Self-Expression (2004). Her articles on Arab media have appeared in refereed journals including International Communication Gazette, Global Media and Communication, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Middle East Politics, Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies, Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, Questions de Communication and Javnost/The Public. She has written background papers for UNDP, the European Parliament and UK House of Lords.
Steven Barnett is Professor of Communication at the University of Westminster and a prominent writer and broadcaster on media issues. He specialises in media policy, regulation, journalism, political communication, press ethics, and televised sport. His immersion in media policy analysis goes back 25 years, during which time he has advised a number of government and opposition spokespeople, given evidence to parliamentary committees and the European Parliament, and has directed numerous research projects on the structure, funding, and regulation of broadcasting in the UK and other countries. His publications include Journalism, Democracy and the Public Interest: Rethinking Media Pluralism for the Digital Age (Reuters Institute, 2009). Before joining the University of Westminster he was founder and director of the Henley Centre’s Media Futures research programme (1990-94), Research Fellow and then Assistant Director at the Broadcasting Research Unit (1985-90) and a senior researcher at the Consumers Association (1980-85).
Basyouni Ibrahim Hamada is Professor of Mass Communication & Public Opinion and Vice Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of Mass Communication at Cairo University, Egypt. He formerly taught at the American University in Cairo, United Arab Emirates University and International Islamic University Malaysia. Dr. Hamada is the Chair of International Association for Media and Communication Research Islam and Media Working Group. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Mass Communication at October University for Modern Sciences and Arts (MSA), and Advisor for the Minister of State, United Arab Emirates. He has also served as media and communication consultant for several research projects and media conferences funded by UNESCO & World Bank. Dr. Hamada has contributed to the establishment of many local and international academic associations, to the organization of many conferences and research projects. His research interests include public opinion, political communication, international communication, new media and public sphere, journalistic culture and Islam, democracy & communication. He is the author of several books and articles published in both Arabic and English. He has made more than 70 international conference presentations that extend for more than 27 years of teaching and academic experience
Maria Michalis is Principal Lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Westminster and the author of Governing European Communications (Lexington, 2007). She specialises in: the relationship between international and national communication markets and regulation; policy issues of technological convergence; local access competition and broadband technologies. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Telecommunications Policy, Convergence, and the European Journal of Communication.
Hussein Amin is a Professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at AUC and Senior Fellow of AUC’s Adham Centre for Electronic Journalism. He recently headed a project to create a National Broadcast Regulatory Authority for Egypt.
Hafez Al-Mirazi is Director of the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism Training and Research at the American University in Cairo and presenter of the Studio Cairo series on Al-Arabiya .He was a founding General Director of Al Hayat private satellite television station in Egypt and previously the Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera, hosting its prominent Arabic weekly show ‘From Washington’ (2000-07). Mr Mirazi has almost 30 years of experience in electronic media, starting his career with Radio Cairo’s Voice of the Arabs in 1980 and working later with Voice of America, the Arab Network of America, and the BBC. He holds a BA from Cairo University and an MA in World Politics from the Catholic University of America.
DAY ONE: March 30 2011
9:30-10.00 Registration and Coffee
10:00-10:30 Opening Address and Welcome
10:30-12:00 Panel 1 - Lessons of Previous Democratisations
Chair: Mona El-Hadeedy, Cairo University, Egypt
Promoting media freedom at times of profound transformations:
ARTICLE 19 in the Balkans
Media Democratisation: The South African Experience
Lessons learned from journalism training in countries of the
former Soviet Union in the 1990s
Media Self-Regulation as Part of Democratisation Processes
in Transition Countries
The Role of Journalists in the Democratisation of Media
12:00-12:30 Coffee break
12:30-14:15 Panel 2 – Enabling environment for free, independent, pluralistic, decentralized and responsible media
Chair: Mohamed Abd El-Hamaid, Helwan University, Egypt
Restructuring Egyptian Broadcasting
Credible Audience Measurement: An Essential Step towards a more
developed, diverse and democratic television in Egypt
UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators Framework
The Role of Community Media and Social Media in Promoting Reform
Promoting Plural and Independent Broadcasting
The Role of Media in Disclosure of Human Rights
Violations in Former Authoritarian Regimes
14:15-15:15 Break for lunch
15:15-17:00 Panel 3 - Transformation of state-owned media into democratic media
Chair: tbc <><><>
Precedents for Public Service Broadcasting in Egypt:
Findings from a Panos Research Project
Mediating the Nation: From State to Public Service Broadcasting –
Critically Engaging Egypt as a Complex Society
Building Public Value: The Importance of Public Service Broadcasting
for National Cohesiveness and Debate
Fulfilling the Mandate: Guiding the Transition from State Broadcaster
to Public Service Broadcaster
A Plan and a Timetable for Transforming State-Owned Media into
How to Construct a New Egyptian Communication Order
17:30-18:45 Panel 4- Political, social, economic and cultural requirements for democratic media
Chair: Saed El-Sayed, Cairo University, Egypt
Media Law and Implications of Egypt’s Constitution for Free Press
When Saying means not doing: Journalists fight for imposing their
Power on Media and Politics
Media Treatment of Women’s Political Rights in post-Mubarak’s Egypt
The Importance of Journalism Training and Education for Democratic Media
Egyptian Press after January 25th Revolution: Alternative Visions
18:45-19:00 Day One Closing Remarks
DAY TWO: March 31 2011
SPECIALIST WORKSHOP ON MEDIA RESTRUCTURING AND REFORM
10:00-11:45 Session 1 - Egyptian Media and the Democratic Process
Chair: Hamdy Hassan, Misr International University
Civil Society and Media democratization in Egypt
Democratisation of Egypt’s State-Owned Media
Broadcasting in the Public Interest: From State Control to Public Service
11:45-12:15 Coffee break
12:15-13:45 Session 2 – Establishing and Sustaining Public Service Media
Chair: Ali Agwa, Cairo University, Egypt
Political and Legal Structures for Democratisation of Egyptian Media
Amany A. Fahmy, Khaled Salah, Cairo University, Egypt
Rebuilding the Broadcasting System in Egypt after January 25th Revolution
Towards an Alternative View of Egyptian Press Ownership
13:45-14:45 Break for Lunch
14:45-16:30 Panel 3 - Regulating Media and Telecoms for Citizen Empowerment
Chair: Steve Buckley, Community Solutions, UK
The Public Interest in Telecommunications and the Internet
An overview of Principals Governing the Establishment of A Broadcast Regulator in Egypt
17:00-18:00 Plenary Debate
Conference Recommendations: Considerations for Egypt’s Future Communications Policy
Co- Chair: Basyouni Hamada
Co- Chair: Naomi Sakr
The conference on Rebuilding Egyptian Media for a Democratic Future took place in Cairo on 30-31 March under the auspices of Professor Emad Abou Ghazi, Egypt’s Minister of Culture, and the chairmanship of Dr Basyouni Hamada, Professor of Communication and Public Opinion at Cairo University and Dr Naomi Sakr, Professor of Media Policy at the University of Westminster, UK. The conference ended with an emphasis on the imperative of building a legal and regulatory environment that supports free and independent media, as follows.
There was broad agreement among conference participants, who included academics and practitioners in media, journalism and law in Egypt and beyond, that an enabling legal and regulatory environment should be created so that the media can serve the public and speak the truth. In the present urgent situation in Egypt conference participants see the need for fundamental change in order to protect the values and gains of the 25th January Revolution.
They see a need to encourage the emergence of free media which are based on international standards and principles of free expression, diversity, inclusiveness, transparency and public accountability. By diversity they mean diversity of ownership (public, commercial, community and other) as well as diversity of content and representation. Media structures should be subject to independent regulation or self-regulation.
There is an urgent need to provide, with immediate effect, fair, balanced and impartial representation of all political actors in the run-up to the coming parliamentary elections.
Egyptian media academics intend to disseminate a summary of conference contributions by May 15th, 2011, and offer their services as a resource and advisory board for practitioners and policy makers for the rebuilding of Egyptian media for a democratic future.
SOURCES OF GUIDANCE ON PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING
Article 19 (2008) Memorandum on the Draft Egyptian Broadcast Law, Article 19
BBC (2004) Building Public Value: Renewing the BBC for a Digital World, BBC
European Union, Online Index on Public Service Broadcasting
Mendel, Toby (2000) Public Service Broadcasting: A Comparative Legal Survey, UNESCO and Asia Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development
Raine, Mary (2010) Editorial Guidelines, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association
Rumphorst, Werner (2007) Public Service Broadcasting: Model Law, Transforming Broadcasting
Salomon, Eve (2008) Guidelines for Broadcasting Regulation 2nd edition, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association
Smith, Elizabeth (2010) Moving from State to Public Service Broadcasting, Lecture delivered at University of Westminster
UNESCO Portal on Public Service Broadcasting