FILE - Head of the Journalists Syndicate Abdel Mohsen Salama
CAIRO - 18 September 2018: Abdel Mohsen Salama, head of Egypt’s Press Syndicate, referred to the suggestion to impose a tax on internet users to open a new source of fund to media platforms, mainly journalism and Radio and TV.
In an interview with Ra'y Aam (Public Opinion) on TeN TV, Salama said that all media platforms are in danger because of social media, adding that sources of fund have to be sought in order for media platforms to continue working.
Salama said that the United Kingdom imposes taxes on Television, adding that Egypt will not be the last stop of such measure in case Egypt manages to ratify this law successfully. He also expressed hope that the Parliament discusses and approves the measure.
Salama affirmed the role played by media platforms in conveying true information, condemning the spread of rumors on the internet. He asserted that Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, said that his platform cannot be a source of information.
Editors' August meeting
Head of Egypt's National Press Authority (NPA) Karam Gabr said that the Wednesday meeting of the boards of national newspapers and editors of private press institutions suggested raising the prices of publications.
Salama revealed that the cost of printing papers has recently increased from $540 to $979, calling on the state to subsidize such costs, including papers and ink cost, which are all imported.
During the meeting, Salama said that the rise in newspapers’ prices will not exceed LE 1 ($0.056), adding that it is a temporary solution.
Nabil Zaki, CEO of the four-decade old newspaper Al-Ahali published by the National Progressive Unionist Party, said that the future of the partisan newspapers in Egypt is uncertain if the state did not intervene to support them.
Apparently confirming Salama’s remarks, Yasser Qoura, assistant head of Al-Wafd party, affirmed that the printed press industry is not limited to partisan newspapers. National and private newspapers also suffer the same crisis due to the increase in the cost of printing papers globally.
Decreasing circulation rates
The circulation rates of the Egyptian printed newspapers have decreased from over a billion in 2010 to 534.6 millions in 2016, according to Egypt’s official Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
Although circulation rates of printed newspapers have increased from 2005 to 2010 by 14.5 percent, according to CAPMAS, they have continuously decreased since 2011.
The circulation rates also decreased from 2015 to 2016 by 4.6 percent, according to the official agency.
Additional reporting by Amr Mohamed Kandil