end of the work day protesters at the state television building,
Maspero, resume their daily demonstrations against the newly appointed
heads of the state TV and radio, in addition to some of the previous
regimes figures, who remain unchanged.
“We are demonstrating until those figures are changed,” asserts Amany el-Sabah, anchor, Radio Central Data channel to Ahram Online.
Maspero protesters are calling for a TV and a radio channel to act as the mouthpiece of the revolution. “The state TV system does not look like it’s going to change soon, so give us an open channel,” Hala Fahmy, another anchor and protester told Ahram Online.
Prime Minister Essam Sharaf had deposed the old pro-regime figures, replacing them with new figures in response to the previous calls of the Maspero protesters.
However, these new figures inspired anger among many state TV and radio employees, who believe they mirror the agenda of the old regime.
“This is just a pain killer to calm people down without an actual shift in calibre,” said Abdel Nasser el-Banna, of NileTV’s MO3ed Programmes and Egyptian Satellite channel.
“Those old figures were breast fed with corrupted milk for several years,” Manal Agrama, Managing Editor, Egyptian Radio and Television Union Magazine told Ahram Online.
Prime Minister, Essam Sharaf has assigned Nihal Kamal to replace Nadia Haleem as head of the TV department, Ibrahim El-Sayed to replace Abdel Latif el-Manawi as head of news department and Ismaiel el-Sheshtawi to replace Entsar Shalaby as head of the radio department.
Maspero protesters are specifically against newly appointed Saad Abbaas, chairman of Cairo Voice and Ismail el-Sheshtawi, head of the radio department and Samy Sherif, head of ERTU.
The sacked heads are now assigned as consultants to the three departments. “Why are they giving corrupt figures a higher post? As if we are kids and they think they can convince us with any nonsense,” Agrama told Ahram online.
Of all the protesters, the employees working in radio are the most angered by their new head, el-Sheshtawi.
“This person is strongly allied with the old regime and is a member of the counter-revolution,” el-Sabah told Ahram Online.
Meanwhile TV and news employees are less angry and split between those who think Kamal and el-Sayyed are fine choices and those who wish to see them leave. “They are honourable people, but this is not the change the Egyptian media needs now,” said Hala Fahmy, anchor and activist with the Maspero protesters.
Furthermore, state TV protesters are furious with the fact that even after the prime minister sent a committee headed by Sekina Fouad, a distinguished author, to get a picture of the media coalition’s demands, he still took the advice of Samy Sharaf, the Head of Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) instead of theirs, according to el-Sabah.
Moreover, Maspero protesters are calling for a minimum wage of LE2000, a hierarchical restructuring of ERTU employees, election of heads of the department and delegation of a committee to represent them.
The committee consists of three media figures and two financial. Media representatives recommended by protesters are Hafez Merazi, Hamdi Kandeel and Sekina Fouad.
Several protests have been held in the state television building during the past month, pushing to change the heads, their deputies and for an unbiased media.
Maspero protesters object strongly to the blatantly false and pro-regime reports that were published by state media during 18 days of the Egyptian revolution.
The PM’s new appointments were only one of several changes in government-owned media figures this week.
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