The Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies (ECPPS) issues this monthly report on policy updates regarding freedom of press and media in Egypt, in an attempt to support the principles of transparency, freedom of information and freedom and independence of press and media in Egypt.

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In the framework of ECPPS' Program "Individual Freedom" and the center's work on the issue of freedom of press and media, the Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies “ECPPS” held a hearing session entitled “Laws defending journalists” on Wednesday, 20 September 2017, at Safir hotel in El-Dokki. This session was one of several activities held by ECPPS to protect the journalists from violations, focusing on starting a societal dialogue about media and journalism laws which control the journalism community in Egypt. The Speakers were, Mr. Ahmed Abo El-Magd (Researcher in the ECPPS) and 25-30 coalition parliament members who always support individual rights, Mr. Mohamed Abd El-Ghany (member in the housing committee), Mr. Gamal El-Din El-Sherif (Member in the constitutional and legislative committee), Mr. Ahmed Tantawy (member in proposals and complaints commitee) and Mr. Gamal Abd El-Rheem (Board member in the Journalism Syndicate), in addition to staffers in media and journalism entities such as; El-Masry El-Youm, Veto, El-Youm El-Sabea, El-Shorouk, Sada El-Balad, Mesriat website, El-Watan, El-Mehwar, El-Midan and El-Ahram and centers working on freedom of press issue as HRDO and El-Hak center.

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The report aims at observing the state of freedom of media in Egypt during the last two years, specifically, after the approval of the Egyptian constitution of 2014.The goal is to identify legislative, political and economic problems encountered by media, as well as problems related to media performance itself, in order to eventually try to find solutions of these problems in the form of recommendations for decision makers and media men and to open a discussion over such problems. It should be noted that this report does not aim at fully observing legislative, political and economic conditions, or providing a full analysis of media content. The report only cites examples that could indicate the general conditions of each of the said aspects.

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In the framework of ECPPS' Program "Individual Freedom" and the center's work on the issue of freedom of press and media, the Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies “ECPPS” held a public meeting entitled “Which is more capable to fight extremism and terrorism, directed or free media?” on Wednesday, 23 August 2017, at the headquarter of the center in Bab El-Louq. The issues discussed during the meeting were; the importance of free media in democratic societies, the capability of free media to fight terrorism which is rooted from dictatorship regimes, and presenting successful experiences in fighting terrorism depending on freedom, speakers were Ahmed Abo El-Magd; researcher at the Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies, Khaled El-Balshy; chief editor of “El-Bedaya” newspaper and Medhat EL-Zahed; the journalist, the member in journalism syndicate and the acting president in Socialist People Coalition party.

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This research paper is part of an awareness campaign launched to highlight the importance of civil society’s role, and the legislations regulating it. Within this campaign the Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies publishes researches, and creates community dialogue, aiming to empower civil work, change the public image of civil society, and answer the questions raised about NGOs. ECPPS tries to achieve this goal through social communication, using different means, including this research paper which explains why ECPPS believes in the importance of civil work. This research paper presents the role of civil society organizations in protecting fundamental rights in Egypt, as well as its mechanisms, and achievements. Finally, the research paper also discusses how civil society can play its role without facing obstacles.

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