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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation 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

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.
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