News / Middle East

Egypt's Pro-Military Media Decried, Defended

Egypt's Pro-Military Media Decried, Defendedi
X
October 22, 2013 3:59 PM
Egypt's media have moved, almost as one, to back the military-led government. While press freedom groups have condemned the stifling of a free media, some defend the one-sided coverage as key to Egypt's "war on terror." VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from Cairo.
Elizabeth Arrott
— Egypt's media have moved, almost as one, to back the military-led government.  While press freedom groups have condemned the stifling of a free media, some defend the one-sided coverage as key to Egypt's "war on terror."

Egyptian state television offers constant reminders that the nation is at war, running the banner “Egypt Fights Terror” in an endless cycle. And there are few battlegrounds as contested as the media itself.

Since the July ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, stations sympathetic to him have been shut down. Reporters have been arrested and others driven underground.

Press freedom groups decry what Reporters Without Borders calls a “clear hostility towards media that fail to sing the army’s praises.” But some long-time champions of free speech see the need.

Political Sociologist Said Sadek of the American University in Cairo says, “There are moments in history when human rights and freedom of expression and media, they have to take a pause unfortunately. This is a political reality, not political illusions.”

Sadek is among many who say national salvation is now at stake. But military attempts to curry favor in the media were evident even before the coup. A leaked video shows military chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi earlier this year discussing ways to influence key media figures, with Sissi asking how the military can “intimidate” them.

While critics point to military strong-arming, there appears to be genuine support for a monolithic voice. Sadek says the dissenting reports of the foreign media - seen as supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and their protests - are a problem.

“Some of the journalists who came to Cairo, you know, are so romanticizing: 'Oh this is pro-people,'" he said.

Their reports ignored the calls to violence and other hate speech of some Islamist media, he says.

Whatever the justification for the pro-military tilt and the suppression of free press, the pitfalls are clear. Professor Christian Donath of the American University in Cairo says the demonizing of the Muslim Brotherhood may have short term advantages, but does not bode well for the future.

“The problem with the kind of language they use makes it more difficult to conduct negotiations in the future with the Brotherhood and its supporters," said Donath. "And it is difficult to see how Egypt is going to return to the kind of stability that the government is calling for, the average people in the street want, without some sort of reconciliation.”

But with journalists avoiding arrest by showing only the military's side of the story, a more balanced view seems a long way away.

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid