Egypt: Mass media

Updated January 2013

The Constitution 2012, in Articles 215 and 216, provides for the regulation of media and the management of state owned media by the National Media Council and the National Press and Media Association respectively.

National Media Council

In terms of Article 215 of the Constitution 2012, the National Media Council regulates the affairs of radio, television, and printed and digital press, among others. The Council must ensure the freedom of media in all its forms, safeguard plurality, fight centralization and monopoly, protect the interests of the public, and establish controls and regulations ensuring the commitment of media to adhere to professional and ethical standards, to preserve the Arabic language, and to observe the values and constructive traditions of society.

National Press and Media Association

The National Press and Media Association manages State-owned press and media institutions and undertakes the development of them and their assets to maximize their national investment value and ensure their adherence to sensible professional, administrative and economic standards (Constitution 2012, Article 216).

2012 Presidential election media access and coverage

Media access and coverage during the 2012 presidential election was regulated by Article 22 of Law 174/2005, which states that "State-owned audio-visual media shall maintain equality between candidates when used for election propaganda purposes". The Supreme Presidential Elections Commission (SPEC) had the authority to ensure compliance with this article and impose a penalty for violations. To ensure free and fair access to the media, SPEC issued Decree No 10 on Campaigning Regulations, which regulated media access as follows:

  • Three daily time slots shall be allocated to contesting candidates on TV channels such as Channel 1, Egyptian Satellite Channel, Nile News and on radio channels namely General Program Network, Radio Misr, and regional radio stations.
  • Sixty (60) free minutes shall be granted to every candidate during the campaign period for the first round of election and the run-off. A maximum of 15 minutes shall be equally allocated to every candidate throughout the three time slots. Adverts are banned from being aired during the time slots.
  • The EISA elction observation mission observed that state-owned media generally complied with the SPEC regulations. No major violation was reported by stakeholders met by the teams.

References

CONSTITUTION OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT 2012, [www] http://www.democracy-reporting.org/files/egypt_draft_constitution_unofficial_translation_dri.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 10 Jan 2013).

LAW NO 174/2005 (Regulating the Presidential Elections), includes all amendements until January 2012, governs general aspects of conduct of presidential elections, [www] http://www.democracy-reporting.org/files/law_regulating_the_presidential_elections.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 10 Jan 2013).