The ministry’s move is largely due to the “fragility” of the economic model for press enterprises, according to El Ferdaous.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Culture Othman El Ferdaous announced the allocation of a total of MAD 225 million ($24.5 million) to support the press sector.
El Ferdaous announced the ministry’s decision on Monday while presenting the communication sector’s 2021 draft budget before the Education, Culture and Communication Committee at the House of Representatives.
The minister recalled the COVID-19 crisis’ negative repercussions on the sector of written and electronic press in Morocco. He noted that the ministry’s initiative is due to the fragility of the economic model of journalistic enterprises, Morocco’s state media reported.
El Ferdaous said the sum includes MAD 150 million ($16.3 million) to support the wages of employees and journalists of national press companies, and MAD 15 million ($1.6 million) to support print newspapers to preserve job positions.
Another MAD 15 million ($1.6 million) each for private radio stations and newspaper distribution is also within the ministry’s allocation.
In addition, El Ferdaous announced that MAD 30 million ($3.3 million) will cover the remaining eligible press companies across Morocco.
During the same session, the Moroccan official indicated that a national debate will take place by the end of 2020 with written press operators to discuss creating a new support system for Morocco’s press sector in 2021.
In line with the theme of the session, Minister El Ferdaous stressed the importance of the communication sector in Morocco, including the press, in developing citizens’ awareness and democratic construction.
After suspending print newspapers in Morocco on March 22, the National Council of Press announced a loss of more than MAD 240 million ($26.1 million) across the entire press sector within three months.
The Ministry of Culture allowed newspapers in Morocco to once again resume publishing paper editions on May 26.