By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, April 19, 2012
Mustapha El Khalfi, Morocco’s Minister of Communication, deems the recent statements of Mr. Salim Sheikh, director of the channel 2M, a clear sign of resistance against reforming the channel. In an interview with Hespress, minister El Khalfi confirmed that Mr. Sheikh’s statements about the accountability files regarding public media merely reflect irresponsibility on the part of the director, particularly that the new constitution decrees this law. The minister further stressed that Mr. Sheikh should have abided by the laws stated in the constitution relating to the audio-visual company vis-a-vis the public media, under article 77 03.
Minister El Khalfi also pointed out that the accountability files aim at bolstering the quality and competition in public media, ensuring that the communication ministry has done its utmost to prepare the files through partnerships. He added that the ministry has received 35 circulars, including two from the channel 2M. One of the circulars deals with the evaluation and amelioration of the files which were handed to the ministry by Mr. Sheikh last February.
Minister El Khalfi responded by saying that we could consult article 19 under the accountability files and draw an analogy between this article and the one received from Mr. Sheikh. The suggestions included in the circular, concerning the editing identities on channel 2M, were received with open arms. In this respect, the minister declared that he received other circulars from union committees, including the union working at the channel 2M station. This union issued a report in which it recommended the files.
The minister affirmed that six meetings have been held at the administrative level as well as those with concerned professionals. The communication ministry received the rest of the circulars from the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture, the Culture Ministry, the Family and Solidarity Ministry, and other artistic and cultural associations.
According to the constitution, Minister El Khalfi stresses that Morocco must do its utmost to protect and strengthen the two official languages: Arabic and Tamazight. The accountability files, for the minister, must focus mainly on rights, freedoms, quality-based public services, and the requirements of the committee entrusted with watching over the broadcast programs on the part of the administrative council. The exclusive independence of any channel must be guaranteed.
Last Friday, Minister El Khalfi held a meeting with journalists working at channel 2M. The minister was optimistic now that the thorny issues, queries, and requested clarifications were all raised and dealt with. Towards the end of the interview, Minister El Khalfi expressed his high regards for the 2M workers, especially their efforts in making 2M channel vibrant.
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