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Source: Angela Powers, 785-532-3963,
Photo available. Contact or 785-532-2535.

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Media management is changing in Egypt, according to the director of Kansas State University's A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Angela Powers just spent three weeks working with more than 120 media managers and professionals to promote transparency in media organizations in Egypt, a country of 80 million people.

"This is a critical time in Egypt. They want to be recognized for their contributions to the world, and one way is through professional media," Powers said.

The U.S. Agency for International Development project, funded through IREX, an international nonprofit organization that promotes leadership and programming for positive global change, offered workshops in Cairo, Egypt, a city of 18 million. Cairo is home to the country's national media, including noted newspapers Al Ahram and El Akhbar.

All of Egypt's major media organizations, including five newspapers and network radio and television stations, are owned by the government. Television remains the most popular medium in Egypt, and Egyptians rely on state radio for recitations from the Koran, Powers said.

"Media managers in Cairo are interested in learning how to structure media organizations because professionals were often appointed based on connections or family affiliations in the past," Powers said. "National media organizations in Egypt tend to be overstaffed, with three people doing the work of one."

As Egypt experiences economic downturns just like the rest of the world, companies are looking to reorganize for efficiency. The government is also interested in privatizing its media, she said.

Powers taught a group of young media professionals from a variety of fields, including public relations, advertising, radio, television and newspapers, at Cairo University as part of the USAID Media Development Program.

"I helped them create proposals for their organizations -- realistic plans for moving their organizations into the digital age," she said. "We covered topics such as mission statements, leadership skills, strategic analysis and media ethics."

Topics about relationships at work were of particular interest because of Egypt's history as an authoritarian society, Powers said.