|Al-Ahram Weekly Online
13 - 19 December 2001
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
You are what you readA meeting of the Supreme Press Council has granted licences for 12 new newspapers and magazines, and also opened the file on the yellow press. Mona El-Nahhas reports
Last week, the Supreme Press Council approved the issue of 12 newspapers and magazines. The new publications will cover science, sports and culture and will include four opposition publications. The opposition publications are Al-Bedaya ("The Beginning") magazine issued by the Wafd Party, the Beni Sueif Wafd newspaper covering news in Beni Sueif governorate, Al-Tagammu newspaper, published by the left-wing Tagammu Party and Al-Sada ("The Echo") newspaper published by the Takaful Party.
Mahmoud Abaza -- deputy chairman of the Wafd party and board chairman of the Al-Bedaya magazine -- told Al- Ahram Weekly that the new magazine will hit newsstands starting from next January. The weekly magazine will focus on issues concerning young people and will appear every Tuesday. "New graduates will constitute the majority of the editorial staff," Abaza said. "As a magazine speaking to a young audience, it will deal with the major problems facing the younger generation -- unemployment, education and so on -- and give them the opportunity to find their own solutions."
Al-Tagammu newspaper will be a local weekly covering news in the governorates of Alexandria, Behira and Kafr El-Sheikh, said Rifaat El-Said, secretary-general of the left-wing Tagammu Party. The first issue of Al-Tagammu will be published next Sunday.
The Supreme Press Council also opened up its file on the yellow press. The council discussed the reasons behind the spread of sensationalist, tabloid- style journalism. Council members suggested ways to put an end to such phenomenon and decided to hold another meeting later to follow up the discussion.
The council's comprehensive study concluded that the yellow press is a recent phenomenon. The study said that the yellow press in Egypt differs considerably from its western counterparts. Egypt's yellow press is neither large- scale nor well organised. It is mainly run by young journalists who, the council's report says, lack both experience and talent and do not abide by the rules and principles of the press profession.
The council's report sees the yellow press as one of the negative effects which have resulted from widening the margin of press freedom. The study said that exaggeration of criticism, defaming public figures and publishing obscene pictures are what distinguishes the yellow press from both the national and opposition press.
The study also looks at the reasons behind the spread of the yellow press. The large circulation of some of the yellow newspapers, the report said, has encouraged other publications to borrow the techniques of the yellow press just to attract readers. According to the study, Egyptians have been negligent in not facing up to the malpractices of the yellow press, which has led to more irresponsible behavior.
According to the study, some of the opposition parties have leased their offices to yellow press. Facilities were rented to people who lacked any experience of the journalistic profession and whose only concern is to earn large profits.
The study called upon the Supreme Press Council to follow up on its findings, to evaluate the material published in yellow newspapers and to issue periodical reports. The council should also organise training courses to train the next generation of journalists about press legislation and the rights and duties of the newspapers, according to the report. The report also envisions a role for the press syndicate. The syndicate should refer persons who violate its press code of ethics to a disciplinary council and take the necessary measures against the offender, the study said.
Recommend this page© Copyright Al-Ahram Weekly. All rights reserved
Letter from the Editor
|WEEKLY ONLINE: www.ahram.org.eg/weekly
Updated every Saturday at 11.00 GMT, 2pm local time