Egyptian Minister of Information Salah Abdel Maqsoud strictly stated that he will prevent guests from praising Muslim Brotherhood.
In an interview with the state-run Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, he said: “I have called for meetings with the heads of TV sectors including the news, specialised and regional channels and asked them to work in a very professional way.”
He also stated that the government and the president welcome constructive criticism, but do not want campaigns that are distorting or that divert people’s attention from major issues.
“We want the media to stand next to the constitutional legitimacy that is expressed by the people’s free and independent will to build a new Egypt” Maqsoud added, “And in the coming days there will be an extended security campaign to restore the state’s prestige and stability, but this campaign requires the cooperation of all sectors of society.”
Commenting on the status of national newspapers, he said: “You must change the ownership; a part shall be owned by the workers and another through shares in specific proportions and that are non-tradable.”
Concerning the decision to close the channel “El Fareen” owned by Tawfiq Okasha, he said, “I am with this decision. Although I had the right and could have closed it myself as it violated the contract, I left it to the administration to make that decision.”
Regarding his rejection of the presence of a Ministry of Information, Salah Abdel Maqsoud said, “I'm still against having an Information Minister and this is what I said to Prime Minister Dr Hesham Kandil. As I had told him, I see a need to abolish the Ministry of Information very soon. When asked how, I told him that we should instead opt for a National Media Council and another Council for the press.” He announced that each council will very soon have their own mechanisms and the relevant implementations to do this have already been placed. “We have expressed our opinion to the Constituent Assembly and I think that this idea will be included in the new constitution. We will be obliged to create two councils as we are working in media and journalism in cooperation with the competent authorities” Maqsoud concluded.