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Egypt’s ERTU to be “completely restructured”

Egypt’s public broadcaster, the Egyptian Radio & Television Union (ERTU) is to be restructured in order to be more competitive against the growing importance of privately-funded commercial channels in the country and beyond.

The ERTU’s headquarters are in the Nile-side ‘Maspero’ building.  According to Minister of Transitional Justice and ‎Parliamentary Affairs, Ibrahim Heneidy, a new law ‎is being drafted to bring Maspero under the ‎supervision of one authority. “This is in line with ‎Article 213 of the new constitution and aims at ‎promoting the competitive capacity of Maspero in a ‎market increasingly dominated by the private ‎sector,” Heneidy told parliamentary reporters in a ‎press conference in Cairo.

Heneidy said the new 2014 Constitution says that a national media authority be established ‎to take charge of supervising all government-‎owned audiovisual and digital media outlets, ‎developing their financial assets and reinforcing ‎their independence and impartiality. “As a result, a ‎legislative reform committee is currently in the ‎process of drafting a new law aimed at achieving the ‎philosophy of Article 213 and turning the anticipated ‎national media authority into a reality,” said Heneidy.‎

Heneidy also disclosed that the committee will hold ‎a number of hearing sessions this coming week to review ‎reforms proposed by Maspero officials, media ‎experts and former information ministers.  “We want ‎the voice of the national media to be more influential ‎and competitive, not necessarily reflecting the state ‎or the government’s point of view but giving the ‎people a different background and vision about what ‎is going on inside and outside Egypt,” said Heneidy.‎

Heneidy said Maspero has huge technical and ‎technological capacities that have to be utilised to be ‎more competitive. It is generally accepted that some 30,000 staff are employed by the current ERTU. “We hope the new national media ‎authority will do this job: relieve Maspero of ‎bureaucracy, develop its financial capacities, and ‎help it deliver in-depth coverage from a ‎Egyptian perspective,” said Heneidy.‎

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