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On 27 October, the UK Arab Partnership-supported Media Diversity Institute (MDI), in cooperation with the Samer Soliman Foundation, held a workshop on freedom of the media in the new constitution. The workshop focussed on how the principles of transparency and accountability could be affected by articles related to freedom of the media in the new constitution. The workshop was attended by several prominent media and political personalities, as well as members of the constitutional committee of 50.
Stephen Hickey, the British Deputy Ambassador, said: ‘this was an important discussion about the challenges facing media freedoms in Egypt. These include access to information; diversification of ownership and the protection of media freedoms in the constitution.’
Some of the ideas discussed during the day included the phrasing of the articles in the constitution related to media and journalism; media independence of state control and ownership; how to integrate and deal with digital media as a media source and whether it should be regulated; and whether any given individual has the right to start a newspaper or publication even if it fails shortly afterwards.
This seminar organised by the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) is funded by the UK through the Arab Partnership which is the UK’s strategic response to the Arab Spring and to the people of Egypt as they move towards democratic political systems.