Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1348, (8 - 14 June 2017)
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1348, (8 - 14 June 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Reshuffling the press pack

New editors and CEOs of state-owned newspapers are announced by the National Press Organisation, reports Mohamed Abdel-Baky

The National Press Organisation (NPO) announced the names of senior staff at state-owned newspapers during a press conference on 31 May.

Abdel-Mohsen Salama, head of the Press Syndicate, replaces Hisham Lotfi as chairman of Al-Ahram. Lotfi had served as Al-Ahram’s acting chairman after former CEO Ahmed Al-Sayed Al-Naggar resigned in mid-April.


Ibrahim

Alaa Thabet replaces Abdel-Hadiy Allam as editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram daily; Ezzat Ibrahim takes over from Galal Nassar at Al-Ahram Weekly while Fouad Mansour was re-appointed editor-in-chief of the French-language Al-Ahram Hebdo.


Thabet

“The appointment of editors-in-chief was made according to the criteria set out by NPO members. The successful candidates all have extensive journalistic and project management experience,” said NPO head Karam Gabr during Wednesday’s press conference.  

Gabr said the NPO had been keen to promote younger news editors in order to “give an opportunity for a younger generation of journalists to lead their institutions”.   

Yasser Rizk was re-appointed chairman of Akhbar Al-Youm Publishing House while Amr Al-Khayat becomes editor-in-chief of the weekly Akhbar Al-Youm and Khaled Meeri editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar daily.

Saad Selim was appointed chairman of Al-Gomhoureya and Abdel-Razek Tawfik as editor-in-chief of the daily paper. Ali Hassan becomes chairman and editor-in-chief of the Middle East News Agency (MENA).

The NPO was established in December 2016 to oversee state-owned press organisations, replacing the Higher Press Council which was created in 1996.

The NPO has formed four sub-committees charged with conducting a major overhaul of press organisations. “The committees will formulate new policies addressing debt, investment, training and capacity building” and committee members will consult with the chairman of state-owned press institutions before making policy recommendations, said Gabr.

He revealed the NPO is preparing major training programmes for journalists to help them meet international standards and keep up to date with new media trends.

“Training programmes will focus on new technology and on improving the foreign language skills of journalists,” he said.
State-owned newspapers are in a double bind as debts mount and revenues to cover expenses fall. Most state-owned press organisations depend on government funds to cover running costs, including salaries.

“The sector’s total debt has reached LE11 billion, making a radical debt restructuring plan essential,” said Gabr.

State-owned newspapers owe large sums to banks, the insurance authority, suppliers and the tax authority. Investment in online media has been negligible and many publications do not have an online presence publishing content. Only Al-Ahram has created websites for all its publications.

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