Minister of Communication: new media draft law will guarantee “modern” practices and the fight against “fierce competition”

The Minister of Communication, Ammar Belhimer, affirmed that the draft organic law for the media is in its “final stages” and aims to ensure the transition of the Algerian media to “modern practices” and “the fight against fierce competition” adopted by the major media outlets in the world.

Belhimer said in an interview, today, Tuesday, with the electronic newspaper “Khabar Press”, that the draft organic law for the media is in its “final stages,” stressing that the project will represent “a comprehensive legal framework that guarantees the transition of the Algerian media to modern practices in accordance with applicable international standards and the fight against fierce competition.” Adopted by the major media outlets in the world. It also seeks to “give an innovative character in line with the provisions of the constitution and developments in the media arena, as well as create a media system that allows the transition to digitization.”

After explaining that the constitution emphasized the freedom to publish and the “consecration” of the declarative system, while emphasizing that “The press offense cannot be punished by a custodial sentence (…), except by a decision of the court”, the minister pointed out that the revision of the Algerian media law has become “necessary in a manner that guarantees the restructuration in an innovative nature that preserves its conformity with the new constitution.”

When evaluating the performance of the national media in light of the media war targeting Algeria, the Minister praised the two parts of the national media (public and private), which “never failed to play their role professionally”. Mr. Belhimer added “ they proved with all merit that they were up to the aspirations and the challenges imposed and they responded with high professionalism to all the hostile attacks that affected the country”.

He stressed that in view of the “big challenges” that exist at the level of Algeria’s regional space, such as “the daily attacks by the Moroccan media and cyber-attacks or the so-called fourth generation wars, we must move quickly according to a well-thought-out scheme to digitization in all aspects of media work.”

Addressing the issue of advertising, the minister stated that “all the chaos prevailing in the media sector is caused by advertising, regardless of its source, which does not respond to economic profitability,” stressing that the advertising market in Algeria “needs urgent regulation to prevent anarchy and some negative and non-professional practices that negatively affect the profitability and ethics of media work”.

With regard to electronic advertising, Belhimer reiterated that his ministerial department “set a number of criteria and a task force was entrusted with monitoring the work of these sites and to set up a dashboard that controls the work of each site according to the specified standards” that were “deduced” from the provisions of the executive decree regulating online media activity.

The key criteria are – he went on to say – “reserving and activating the domain name with the extension (.dz)” and another related to “measuring interaction with the audience in terms of the number of site visitors and the audience following it through various social media.

On the occasion, the Minister of Communication called on website owners to “accelerate” their hosting in implementation of the text of the executive decree specifying the modalities of conducting media activity via the Internet, recalling that this decree in its article 41 stipulates that both individuals and companies practicing media activity via the Internet must comply with its provisions within a period of 12 months, as of the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

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