New York - According to the daily newspaper Al Massae in its Saturday 21 April issue, Abdelilalh Benkirane, head of the government, is believed to be heading towards dismissing both Samira Sitail, head of the news department of 2M channel, as well as Salim Sheikh, director of the channel.
New York – According to the daily newspaper Al Massae in its Saturday 21 April issue, Abdelilalh Benkirane, head of the government, is believed to be heading towards dismissing both Samira Sitail, head of the news department of 2M channel, as well as Salim Sheikh, director of the channel.
The expected decision comes against the background of the media reform launched by Mustapha El Khalfi, Minister of Communication and spokesperson of the government.
The said reform aims at banning gambling commercials, reducing the time slot allotted to the French language in the programming of the channel, as well as obliging the latter to broadcast the daily five calls to prayer.
Following the announcement of the reforms, Samira Stail and Salim Sheikh, made media appearances in which they harshly criticized the approach adopted by the Minister. They further claimed that the Minister adopted the reform without consulting with the direction of the channel and the concerned professionals.
In an interview with the Moroccan news website 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 this law is based on the spirit of the new constitution.
The minister further stressed that Mr. Sheikh should have abided by the laws set out in the constitution relating to public media.
According to Article 28 of the new constitution adopted on July 1, 2011, “public authorities shall support the organization of the press sector in an independent and democratic manner, and the determination of legal and ethical rules relating to it. The law sets the rules of organization and control of public means of communication. It guarantees access to these means, while respecting linguistic, cultural and political pluralism of the Moroccan society.”
Following the victory of the PJD at the legislative elections held last November and the subsequent appointment of Abdelilah Benkirane as head of the government, many foresaw a stormy relationship between the members of the newly elected government and the executives of 2M.
A few days after the Casablanca suicide attacks which took place on May 16, 2003, Samira Sitail made some media appearances in which she blamed the PJD for the bombing, adding that “all islamists advocate murder and are equal,” and adding that the “PJD members are the apologists of these terrorists groups and they are as much to blame of the bombing as the perpetrators.”
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