Changing the law of the Journalists’ Syndicate No. 76 of 1970 has become an urgent necessity in light of the changing political and social circumstances as well as the current developments of the profession on the technological and legislative level. The law has become an obstacle that does not keep up with changes of our era and restricts the practice and the creativity of the profession.
The Syndicate’s law and its registration regulations are full of problems and contradictions that prevent the protection of journalists. One of these contradictions, the law requires that a journalist should be professional and experienced to be registered in the syndicate’s rosters and sub-rosters, and to be able to practice journalism. At the same time, the law punishes the non-registered practitioners of press work with imprisonment for a period that should not exceed one year and a fine that should not exceed 300 pounds. As a result, junior journalists are always at risk of being charged of “impersonating a journalist.”
In addition to all these inconsistencies mentioned above, the law’s lack of recognition to the current social and political situation, and its unsuitability to current developments in the press community, the law and its executive regulations tie the journalist to the newspaper which he works for and treat them as one, when actually the syndicate is supposed to defend the rights of its members against the institutions they work for.
Therefore, the Egyptian Observatory for Journalism and Media emphasizes the need to abide by the freedom of press and media as a basic right for journalists and media professionals as a whole, and as an integral right to freedom of opinion and expression for every individual in society. Also, stresses the need for commitment to the Egyptian Constitution and international covenants and laws, the Egyptian Observatory for Journalism and Media condemns the violations and security abuses done against non-registered journalists, and Blames the Journalists ‘Syndicate and its law that was made more than 50 years ago for putting restrictions on registration at the Journalists’ Syndicate. Journalists are at risk of being falsely charged with “impersonating a journalist”. The Egyptian Observatory for Journalism and Media also asserts that this law is no longer appropriate for the current political situations, as well as the technological developments taking place in the world in general and the press community in particular.
Accordingly, in continuation of its efforts launched more than six months ago, and in continuation for its campaign launched by the Foundation three months ago #Umbrella, the Egyptian Observatory for Media and Press is launching a new campaign entitled “Fair Registration terms ” under the hashtag #عدلوها to amend The Journalists’ syndicate Law and its Executive Regulations.
Through this campaign, the Foundation offers alternative article for the current ones of the Journalists’ Syndicate Law No. 76 of 1970 and its Executive Regulations. The campaign aims to invite journalists suffering from this law, journalists belonging to the General Assembly of Journalists’ Syndicate, the professionals and all interested organizations and activists to submit their proposals and create a social movement to put a pressure on the journalists’ syndicate council to amend the conditions of membership so more individuals can obtain it. It also calls upon all those who are mentioned above and partner organizations to join a signature campaign through which this pressure can be achieved.