Moroccan Information Day: minister wishes major changes
Morocco, Politics, 11/16/1999
Moroccan Communication Minister Mohamed Larbi Messari said strong signals of change in various sectors are heralding major changes in information.
The minister told the Moroccan national TV channel on the occasion of the national information and communication day marked on November 15 the king's interest in the communication sector was already seen when he chaired, as crown prince, last year's national information day.
He also announced that Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi would chair this Tuesday a session of the ministerial commission in charge of revising the law on public freedoms. A new press code to replace the 1958 text, issues related to the public media, the Moroccan news agency MAP, the first TV channel and other bodies supervised by the communication ministers will be examined.
Moroccan newspapers devoted on Monday large comments to the performance of the Moroccan media and the situation of journalists. Stories unanimously stressed the need to promote freedom and the journalists' responsibility for the development of the profession.
"Le Matin du Sahara et Du Maghreb" argues that basic communication infrastructure and human resources should be developed if Morocco is to face the harsh competition of the flow of foreign information.
Leftist "Bayane Al Yaoum" deplored that information in Morocco does not match requirements of a democratic and modern information. The daily, which concedes that the Moroccan media has achieved some progress, criticizes the dominion of official news at the expense of a space for the expression of different ideas and policies.
The Communication Ministry held, on the occasion, a debate on the Internet between officials, journalists, researchers, elected officials and heads of publications based in various Moroccan regions. The debate which centered on "regions and new information technologies" concluded that regional journalists have a key role in the development of their regions, provided that they get closer to the local population concerns.
Meanwhile, the Moroccan press club held another debate which called for deep reforms of the sector. Participants criticized altogether the laws regulating the sector, the poor professionalism of journalists, the difficulty to access sources, the public authorities' dominion over the media and the poor performance of the audio-visual sector.
Introducing the debate, the chairman of the club, Ahmed Zaydi, criticized the draft law on public freedoms and recommendations of the 1st Information and Communication Colloquy of 1994 are outdated since they do not refer to new information technologies.
For the chairman of the press union, Younes Moujahid, journalists are still waiting for a reform which was announced more than once by several ministers.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi has just acknowledged that his government has not succeeded in developing the audio-visual sector, which continues to be influenced by the policy of the former government.
Meanwhile, King Mohammed VI received in Rabat Tuesday director general of the Moroccan news agency "Maghreb Arabe Presse" (MAP), Abdeljalil Fenjiro, whom he decorated with the officer rank throne medal and appointed M. Mohamed Yassine Mansouri to take over at the head of the agency.
Fenjiro headed the newswire for more than 25 years.
The king also appointed M. Faysal Laaraichi director of the Moroccan television network TVM in replacement of Mohamed Issari.
Mansouri, born in 1962, attended the Rabat Royal School and graduated in Law from the Rabat Mohammed V University Law School before training in the Information and Interior Departments.
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