News / Middle East

Egypt's Revolution Brings Changes for Journalists, Audience

Multimedia

Al Pessin

Egypt's revolution in January and February led to major changes in the country's media, changes that affect both journalists and news consumers.

Since Egypt's revolution, there is more competition among the nation's newspapers, more political coverage and probably more readership.  But readers are not necessarily satisfied with what they are buying.

Longtime newspaper reader Gamal Ali, who bought more than half a dozen items on a recent Saturday morning, is not really a happy customer.  "I feel the press has not changed from before," said Ali.  "It is the same.  There are lots of articles written to boost sales, but it's nothing really new.  But I keep buying.  I hope to find something I like."

Those comments may reflect a general dissatisfaction these days among many Egyptians, who feel newly free to express their frustration about newspapers and just about everything else.

Rania Al Malky, the editor of Daily News Egypt, feels that every day.  "I think people have become a lot more critical of everything they read," said Al Malky.  "In general, Egyptian citizenry has become a lot more assertive and critical.  I mean they are no longer taking things as a matter of fact simply because it's printed or because the State television is reporting it."

Egyptian journalists are facing that more demanding public at the same time that Al Malky says they have a more difficult story to cover.

"Since the revolution, since the uprising, it's been increasingly difficult to get the story right," Al Malky added. "I think this has been the biggest challenge for us."

It is no longer just the government line and a quote from a regime opponent.  Now, there are many opposition groups and individuals, on Tahrir Square and elsewhere, who want to give their version of any event, or their view on any issue.

At the newsstand, owner Mohammed Ali says Egyptian newspapers are responding to the changes.  "There are a lot more opposition voices in the newspapers, and criticism of the government, even in the state-owned papers," Ali noted.  "They reflect the views on the street more.  And I have lots of new customers.  Some of them never read newspapers in the past."

Veteran Egyptian journalist Hisham Kassem is counting on those new readers.   And he is renovating office space for a new multimedia news venture in the country's newly free media environment.

"I really look forward that until my retirement I'm just going to be able to defend accuracy and professional standards, but not have to deal with reporters coming in and telling me State Security is harassing them and then I have to respond and so on," Kassem said.

But six months after the revolution, there is already concern that Egypt's temporary military rulers are trying to roll back the newfound press freedom.  

They did not abolish the Information Ministry, as many had hoped they would, and officials have warned reporters not to criticize the top officers too directly.

Still, long term, Hisham Kassem says he is not too worried.  "Once media gains ground, there's no going back," Kassem added.  "It's not going to be an easy ride, but it's going to be vibrant and there's going to be a lot of change coming on that scene."

That means still more newspapers competing for Egyptian readers, whose appetite for news seems to be increasing as their country experiences the growing pains of a new democracy.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid