French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte ill-fated campaign in Egypt that lasted from 1799-1801 brought the first modern Print press in the Middle East to Egypt. The first of its kind and much more advanced than the slower versions and antiquated ones that were in Istanbul. After the failure of the French campaign, the printing press represented a revolution in the Egyptian society that was used wisely later by Mohamed Ali Pasha during his renaissance and modernization era in Egypt. Mohamed Ali Pasha ordered the establishment of the first Arabic language publication “Al Wakaa” in 1828 as the official newspaper of the Egyptian state.
The Egyptian press till recently was the most influential in the Middle East and the Arab world. Now with over 500 publications it’s still facing a lot of challenges to meet the international standards for both professionalism and freedoms that were deeply affected by decades of censorship and government intervention. The Egyptian journalists and writers hardly ever felt complete freedom to speak their minds and express what they truly believe. They were always under the scourge from either the government or the reader who sometimes resist shocking facts and resort to comfort zone. Egyptian readers are partly to be blamed for this as they succumb to what they believe is the truth and should they be faced by a journalist or writer who expressed different views than the standard version acceptable in society, their defensive mechanisms initiate a ferocious attack against that writer and he is usually labeled as an outcast.
However, this trend is witnessing a shift towards more frankness and though the road for that is winding and bumpy, there are indications that certain cliché’s are less tolerated by the average user who is becoming more vigilant towards lies or twisting facts under any pretext.
State Owned Press: All the President’s men
State owned press post the 1952 coup’d’etat enjoyed a very strong influence within the Egyptian society at a time when it only contended with radio stations to shape the hearts and minds of the average Egyptian. The state owned press before its nationalization in 1960 played the same role as it did through that drastic measures taken by Nasser’s regime to control all aspects of life in the country under his powers.
Since the 1952 and onwards, Egyptian state press was the voice of the President or the ruling party. They acted as the devil advocate to all the president’s decisions be that Nasser, Sadat or Mubarak and currently SCAF. The state press was for a long time the only press available post the nationalization and no other private newspapers or periodicals were allowed to be published. That was the case all the way till the late 1970’s when president Sadat allowed the partisan press to be published and Muslim Brotherhood’s publications for the newly formed parties like New Wafd party, El Tagamoa (Coalition) , Al Amaal (Work) parties to have their own publications.
Despite the relative freedoms that these partisan newspapers enjoyed there were certain taboos that these publications cannot address like the president character and certain decisions. However these publications enjoyed the freedoms during Sadat and publicly criticized the peace treaty with Israel and the Camp David accord. During Mubarak first years in office the same was applied and gradually the partisan press criticized the president but usually in an indirect approach. However, Al Wafd managed to say no for Mubarak’s presidential candidacy for second term. The State owned press throughout this period of relative freedoms maintained the same technique of being the president’s men and voice to the public.
They would harshly criticize all opposition press for proposals they would demand to increase freedoms, claiming that they are irrational or the time is not suitable for them. Yet, they would applaud the president should he by any means confirm the righteousness of these demands and approves them just the next day. The state press, can shift momentum from right to left in a flash depending on the whims of the Presidential office, It was more scandalous to receive reports in the last few years of Mubarak’s reign that some columns written by editors-in-chief of state press newspapers were actually sent by the Presidential office to be printed and undersigned by some of the most prominent journalist as if they wrote it themselves. While the presidential office have neither confirmed nor denied such acts, it’s a blatant example of how state media was the incumbent own toy and mostly his weapon of choice.
Dr. Mohamed Hassanein Heikal : A man for all seasons
Hardly any Middle Eastern journalist or writer has enjoyed the fame and status that Heikal have achieved with almost 6 decades of work in the Egyptian press and Arabic Media. The man who headed Al Ahram newspaper was the closest journalist to the Powers that be in Egypt during the 1950s all the way to the mid 1970s. Dr. Heikal managed through his versatile, eloquent and extremely impeccable to affect tens of millions of not just Egyptians but Arabs who believed in him to be the foremost political analyst of all time. It has been said that without Heikal the legacy of Gamal Abdel Nasser couldn’t have existed. Heikal played the same role for Abdel Nasser that Joseph Göbbels did for Adolf Hitler. He created a legend out of the president and paved the way to a new school of idolizing dictators in the Arab world. Now with the success of Heikal as the de facto voice of the president and primary political adviser, every Middle Eastern state had a Heikal of his own from Iraq to Morocco. Unfortunately, Heikal set a trend in state owned Media that was followed by almost the majority of Egyptian and later Arab journalists and that is twisting the facts in favour of the president’s image.
Heikal managed to obtain an incredible number of Egyptian governments’ documents during his work as a journalist and close consultant to President Nasser which actually belonged to the Egyptian state, these documents helped him to become the most reliable source of information of this period. However, Heikal have abused the use of these documents for his personal gain. On one hand to provide material for his bestselling books and on the other hand, he released the documents that believed to serve his criteria in books and neglected to release the others that contradict his point of view.
Furthermore, his infamous Book “Autumn of Fury” dedicated mainly to bash Late President Anwar Al Sadat just months after Sadat’s assassination. Sadat who put Heikal in custody among other politicians for inciting waves of protests follows the peace treaty with Israel, represents a huge stain in the history of Egyptian press and literature. Heikal not just criticized Sadat but attributed Sadat’s behavior as compensation to his dark skin and mentioned allegations that his mother was a Sudanese slave women. These blatant racial slurs seemed more befitting of a Ku Klux Clan writer than an actual professional journalist. Aside from making a God out of Nasser and clearing up the entire late President’s faults and directly attributing them on others, Heikal have created some good analysis in certain political issues. But despite that he repeats that he is not an advocate of foreign conspiracy theories, almost his entire line of books attribute all the problems of Egypt in the past, present and future on conspiracy theories and those who follow his works will find themselves in state of confusion between what he is actually declaring and his method of analyzing events in favour of conspiracy theories.
Heikal as the Godfather of Nasserism and socialism in Egypt and a staunch fighter against capitalism have two sons. Ironically, his two sons Ahmed and Hassan are among the richest Egyptians with a combined wealth of 1.7 Billion dollars and ranked as 48 according to Arab Business Magazine in 2010. Hassan Heikal the Stanford University graduate is the CEO of EFG Hermes the Egyptian investment bank and the biggest in the Arab world. In many people’s eyes this is a contradiction to the rhetoric that Heikal propagated for years and defending the policies of nationalism and socialism in the Egyptian economy enforced during Nasser’s Era.
Even after the January 25th revolution he managed to find a place whereby he draws crowds to his political analysis and even published a book about President Mubarak. The man is regarded by many western observers as on the best sources to document the 20th century Middle East and his articles are published in the most prestigious newspapers in the western hemisphere. His articles and books are usually treated as valuable resources of information especially containing a large number of authentic and original documents from his collection. He brilliantly uses these documents to propagate his own point of view and fails to present other documents that negates them and has been skillful in this tactic for decades.
Heikal’s School of journalism and thought is exactly what Egyptian journalism and Arab one need to part away from for further progress and real enlightenment. Unfortunately, this school of thought has created generations of writers, journalists and media players who believe in cosmic conspiracies against Egypt and spreading xenophobia among Egyptians so they will willingly obey their president regardless of his deeds and decisions. Heikal is still regarded with great respect among many Egyptian journalists who consider him as their idol and role model to follow; they quote his words as the messiah of journalism and hardly contend any of its contents.
Heikal sponsored the waves of attacks against the peace treaty with Israel and other Egyptian leftists and Nasserites have followed suit. The dilemma was always that Heikal never proposed an alternative to this treaty and regaining the occupied Egyptian land of Sinai as well of that in Palestine, Syria and Jordan back then in the aftermath of the 1967 six days war. He bashed Sadat mercilessly and failed to present any alternative but theoretical rhetoric. However, he had no problems in endorsing peace initiatives with Israel decades later after the golden opportunity of Camp David accords of 1979 was gone. He even warned any future president for Egypt from trying to alter or change the peace treaty in a recent interview. Heikal never had the boldness to publicly apologize for willingly or unwillingly distorting the reality &misleading the Egyptian and Arab readers for many decades and still is ironically regarded by many in Egypt as the undisputedly reliable source of 20th century history.
The prominent journalist have managed to live through all eras and maintaining a degree of understanding with whomever in power. That was manifested in all his writings beginning with a famous article back in 1944 titled “Your birthday my king” that included some of the most flattering praise on the King Farouk in his birthday and describing the last king of Egypt with words hardly even prophets been described with. The same king he criticized and bashed during Nasser’s era and thereafter and criticized journalists of that time by being hypocrites to King Farouk. The impacts of Heikal school of journalism might take decades for Egyptian journalists to overcome the fallout of his 6 decades of journalistic work.
Heikal have always found away to be in the spotlights in all seasons and is truly adaptable to all changes in political seasons.
Partisan press dates back to the end of the 1970s and were the only source of opposition allowed by the regime to express their views, usually the they avoided criticizing the president directly and relied on criticizing policies of the government and regime without directly criticizing the president till they changed that stance after the Camp David accord signed by Sadat and they became more critical versus Sadat. The same pattern continued during Mubarak era with publications from the main opposition parties like El Wafd , El Ahrar (Freemen) and El Tagamoa (Coalition) parties were having their publications.
Like many other private sector publications they normally followed the policies set by the owners unlike the traditional claim of separating the editing process from the financiers’ affiliations. The same can be applied to partisan press, only in this case the financiers are the high committee of each party that dictates the policies and what should published in the party publications. Al Ahaly (the people) of Tagamoa party, Al Ahrar of Al Ahrar party and El Wafd are the biggest and most prominent of the opposition party press. These publications were later followed in the early millennium by Al Ghad (Tomorrow) party publications. Some of the parties like Al Ahrar had over 12 different publications ranging from books, periodicals and newspapers. Unfortunately the amount of these publications failed to reflect positively on the actual popularity of the aforementioned parties as Al Ahrar and El Tagamoa hardly ever managed to get more than single digits percentages of seats in any parliament during Sadat or Mubarak. This can be certainly attributed to the great pressures exercised by the former regime on them but at the same time resembles a strong failure to connect with the populace efficiently.
Back in the 1980&1990s El Wafd newspaper was a breath of fresh air to Egyptians who sought the hidden truth from the twisted and half truth usually published daily in government run newspapers but now it’s breath of toxic air that is so foul to even to the most radical reader. The online news portal doesn’t contain as much news as much as it is a portal to sub-reality and an alternative world that hardly exist The professionalism in Egypt’s longest running opposition paper is severely lacking and it keeps deteriorating in quality and sales day by day.
The position of El Wafd newspaper post the revolution have been shifting according to the whims of the party chief Mr. Sayed El Badawy and reflecting on his constant status of forging and breaking alliances with other political powers including SCAF. One day a newspaper would print praise for the Islamist groups like Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis and a week later the same paper would publish a veracious bashing for the same group.
The same was applied on SCAF and particularly when they praised field Marshall Tantawy to an extreme extent then shifting their position radically to the extent of printing a head title “The people want the head of the Field Marshall” thus applying a new unprecedented trend of actually inciting political violence. The editors of the El Wafd newspapers have been impetuous through the months following the revolution towards bashing anyone on sight just as soon as they receive the signal from the party committee and to be more precise the party leader and main financier Sayed El Badawy. These actions exercised by the party publication are not befitting of a publication carries the name of an over 80 year old party that used to be one of the pillars of liberty , liberalism and Egyptian Identity since its first establishment in 1918 then reestablished in 1978 during Sadat’s era.
Post the revolution few published periodicals representing the new parties launched like that of the Freedom and Justice party “El Horeya wal Adala” but so far they have not reached further than the Muslim brotherhood supporters who might be the only client for that publication. The publication was not highly publicized with adverts as much of the other party activities and contains simply a pro-islamist rhetoric that is synonymous with the party affiliation.
Private and Independent Press
Private press was usually limited to mostly periodicals and magazines published in Egypt or in many cases Cyprus or Lebanon due to less stringent Press laws. The private press mostly handled social issues, fashion and other life interests. However by the early millennium a new wave of private newspapers surfaced as a step forward to the traditional state and partisan press that dominated the scene for long decades. The likes of journalist Ibrahim Essa who possess a liberal/leftists tendencies and the most ardent critiques of President Mubarak blazed the trail but with the price of having 10 of his publications shut down by security forces or court orders due to his straightforward criticism to the regime.
Essa’s school of aggressive criticism was rivaled by a more constructive, objective and more professional criticism from newly found Newspapers like “Al Masry Al Youm” (Egyptian Today) and “Al Shorouk” (The Dawn” who have seen the light in the later years of the past decade. Both newspapers have shown some moments of exemplary professional journalism at certain periods particularly the after their launch and certain moments during and after the revolution. But the same cannot be mentioned about certain lack of professionalism in certain coverage as well as head titles. Furthermore, the close the Presidential elections approached the less impartial both newspapers reacted towards certain candidates. While both paper claim to uphold the values of liberalism, both failed to deliver a complete liberal messages and the same as the case of ONTV satellite channel they have been recently overran by extreme leftists and Islamists journalists and younger editors.
With the departure of Al Masry Al Youm’s former editor-in-chief Magdi El Galad , the newspaper took a nose dive towards more unprofessional editing techniques and news coverage. The revolutionary-than-thou attitude prevailed through the newspaper message and incitement against certain Presidential characters figures in the previous regimes like Ambassador. Amr Moussa and Dr. Ahmed Shafiq indicates that the newspapers is driven by a political agenda be that good or bad. Attacks on Moussa and Shafiq and blatant endorsement of their opponents seems ironical since they are the two candidates with the liberal stance in comparison to the newspaper implicitly endorsing candidates like Dr. Abou El Fottoh the conservative and co-founder of the Al Gamaa Al Islamiya “Islamic group” that terrorized Egypt since 1970 till end of the 1990s.
The same description can be applied on El Shorouk Newspaper which in the last days before the elections have blatantly attacked Moussa and Shafiq as well and claimed to have documents incriminating Shafiq for corruption while not publishing these documents or submitting them to the designated authorities as any professional newspaper should have done.
Other interesting new private press dailies include Al Watan (The Homeland) headed by Magdi El Galad which have been publishing recently some strange and seemingly fictional conversations that they claim took place during Mubarak’s trial. New publications include.El Tahir (independence but referring to Tahrir Square) Al Youm Al Sabaa (The 7th day) . Aside from that there the Islamist funded and run Al Masreyoun (The Egyptians) and the Al Fattah newpapers which adheres to the Salafi and ultra conservative groups’ rhetoric and spreading what is perceived by many as hate speeches against other political groups.
Among the many new newspapers have surfaced post the revolution, among the most famous of them is the “Tahrir” newspaper established by the prominent journalist Ibrahim Essa who had 10 of his previous publications shut down by order of the former regime. The newspaper utilizes a hardcore pro-revolution rhetoric but usually lacked a lot of objectivity and focused on a lot of innuendos and occasional exaggerated reports about events in post-revolution Egypt. The current stance of the newspaper has toned down a bit after Essa and his colleagues realized that they unintentionally helped Islamist to move closer to power than ever before. Now the Newspaper like many others are focused on unmasking the Islamists intentions and their attempts to take control over Egypt instead of the hardcore rhetoric against former regime figures after the previous tactic proved to be a great failure.
Unfortunately some Newspapers despite the current boom of sales post revolution are struggling financially and actually one prominent English newspaper Daily News Egypt have shut down their newspaper and website due to financial reasons after 7 years being the only independent English daily newspaper in Egypt. However, just a week ago they seem to have received enough funding for a prelaunch but that will not mean sustainability on the long run unless the economic and social circumstances change.
It was notable to observers during the first round of Presidential elections on the 23rd and 24th of May that the private press has relinquished their presumed role and often self-declared objectivity and impartiality. It was evident that the editorials as well the news editing serves in favour of some candidates over others. For instance, Al Masry al youm and Al Shrouk news coverage was clearly in favour of Dr. Abdel Moneim Abou El Fottoh while El Tahrir was supporting for Mr. Hamadeen Sabahy . Finally El Dostor (The Constitution) which was formally owned by Ibrahim Essa but had a new pro-government administration, clearly and blatantly favoured Ahmed Shafiq especially in the second round of the presidential elections.
Ironically all these private press outlets and others have criticized the state media for years of being biased towards the former presidents and governments while in the first real test of objectivity they have failed to deliver a different message than those whom they criticized and bashed for years. The overzealous younger editors working in these private newspapers couldn’t separate their own personal feelings towards a certain candidate and they have managed to withhold certain news that will be negative towards their candidates of choice, while propagating ones that will be against their rival candidates. That same tactic exactly is what state media has been criticized of utilizing for decades has been used to the letter by all the private press outlets.
While many of the Private press newspapers and periodicals claim time and again that they separate the financiers’ political affiliations from their editorial policies, the presidential elections litmus test proved without a shred of doubt that this claim is a myth created by the financiers and editors themselves to sell a few more publications. The credibility of the private and independent publications are at stake and despite their great role prior to the revolution in uncovering cases that the state media and press have managed to cover up , they haven’t lived yet to the expectations of most of the Egyptian public post the revolution .
Internet: The driving force behind the revolution
A century long of free satellite TV and freedom of expression wouldn’t been enough to get the people to the streets like the DSL internet did in less than a decade. It can be simply stated if it wasn’t for the internet and the social media the Egyptian revolution would have been a fairy tale in the imagination of most Egyptians. Yet the internet was the real force behind the change and the actual first wave of the revolution. Facebook, twitter and independent activists’ blogs played a part in the warming up towards what is known to be the most massive revolution in more than century. The Facebook page of “We are all Khaled Said” which was a tribute to the 28th years old martyr Khaled Said who died due to police brutality months before the revolution sparked the idea of protesting on the 25th of January 2011 on the Tunisian model of revolution.
The first wave turned eventually into a massive revolution that toppled Mubarak’s regime. Knowing the strength of the internet and it’s capability to rally all activists, the former regime captured and imprisoned many of the freedom fighters and bloggers before the revolution. They went all the way of disconnecting the entire internet network on 28th of January 2011 only to be restored back on 2nd of February after that tactic led to further Egyptians joining the ranks of the rebels in the street. With over 23 million users in Egypt representing 25% of the population
If internet is any indicator now, it certainly shows the deep rift within the Egyptian political spectrum and the sense of paranoia among Egyptians towards each other. The “C” word or the Civil war is taboo since the country haven’t known such event since the unification of the upper and lower kingdom by Pharaoh Menes over 5 thousand years ago and creating the first unified state in the world’s history. However, any analyst to the news forums, or the social media won’t fail to notice that civil war already started on the on the internet pages between Islamists factions and secular factions. A war that one would one would only pray that it is never taken to the streets or Egypt will slumber into an abyss of chaos.
Internet may have changed the way Egyptians live and think and certainly will continue to be a further drive for change. However, it’s a double edged sword at the moment with a lot of extremists’ ideologies poisoning the virtual world as they do with the real one. It’s noteworthy to observe how the internet will continue to effect life and politics in Egypt in the near Future.
During Mubarak’s era a witch-hunt on Political blogs on the internet took place and heavy hands of the National Security Bureau have hunted, prosecuted and jailed many bloggers among in order to curb the potential of the freedoms. However, that didn’t prevent from other new bloggers from surfacing and continue a struggle for freedom of speech and for Egypt in general.
Post the revolution almost all printed publications like Al Ahram, Al Masry Al Youm, Al Akhbar, Al Youm El Sabaa and others launched their news services online to meet the great demand for such services. Brand new news portals are surfacing everyday and also forums for debates like Beit El Hewar (House of discussions) keep launching every short period. The debates taking place as comments on news and articles published on these services can represent a poll on the public opinion though might not be a very accurate one since the entire number of Egyptians using the internet is around the 23 million figure is about 25% of total population . A big percentage of that number are not regular users or inexperienced ones, therefore, still the comments displayed online don’t represent a great sector of the populace.
Almost all political powers within the Egyptian spectrum have their own online portals including that of Muslim Brotherhood called Ikhwan online. Other liberal and socialist powers have the same and each side are trying to draw as much attention to their portals as they can by issuing declarations and communiqués online first before any other publications or media outlets.
The Supreme council for Armed forces recognizing the power of the internet has established their own page on Facebook and issuing their regular communiqués and declarations online first followed by an announcement in the traditional media outlets. This has been happening since they took power in February 2012 and continued to be the trend onwards. All communiqués were mainly addressed to the younger rebels who are known to utilize social media and the tactic worked successfully initially before the relationships became sour between rebels and SCAF.
The online media is very promising and have helped to formulate and affect the path for the revolution and still does, however it didn’t substitute the traditional media outlets like TV and press and not likely in the near future. It still represents a fast access towards fresh news but still lack reliability due to the enormous amounts of innuendos later ironically denied by the same sources that published these innuendos. A clear code of ethics for the online media is impossible with the exception of online portals of existing press publications who are unfortunately still deviate from that code of ethics by miles.
Yet it remains to be said that the freedom exercised by online publications and portals is unmatched on all other traditional media outlets and that led to Islamist majority parliament to try to control these hard gained freedoms by an infamous law on the pretext of banning pornography but it’s aimed to curbing the freedoms exercised by internet users because they know that was one of the effective weapons that was utilized to topple Mubarak’s regime and they don’t wish to allow these freedoms to topple themselves. They pretext of pornography banning was a blatant cover for curbing on internet freedoms by Islamists after it was discovered that the proposed law was copied verbatim from the infamous Saudi Arabian law for internet which allows almost complete control over the content of the internet. All free Egyptians and activists are urged to battle that law and prevent it from seeing the light of day since even Mubarak’s regime didn’t have the audacity to propose such law before the revolution.
Negative traits of Egyptian press and media
1- Blackmail tactics against politicians and businessmen:
It has been reported by several sources that some of the owners of the private newspapers have blackmailed politicians and businessmen to publish reports that defames the businessman or politician interests. The publication would vow silence in exchange for the business own to buy advertisement space in the publication. This tactic was mostly utilized by lesser known independent newspapers as a source of revenue and occasionally it works.
2- Acting as government front or agents of National Security Bureau :
Be that by direct orders from National security bureau or by volunteering, many Egyptian journalists, writers and TV anchors are more royal than the king in their approach. They serve as insiders to the national security bureau while actually some private newspapers were licensed to serve the interests of that bureau by sending regular insider reports and thus guaranteeing that they will receive rewards and possible promotions. The reason for this was the interference of the National security bureau in the hiring and firing of most journalists in state press newspapers and publications especially the top tier editors in chief.
3- Nasser’s Era influences:
While this is not attributed to the late president Nasser himself but more to the modus operandi of the journalism traits in his era when journalists became all the president’s men and would go as far as humanly possible to get on his good side. Thus, many journalists’ loyalties were to the president and not to the avid reader of their columns and news editorials. The same can be applied to Sadat’s, Mubarak’s eras and unfortunately the trend continues post the revolution with SCAF being the main client to serve by these journalists.This has led that Egyptians sometimes have to read many publications in order to double check a single fact.
4- Panic fever and Sensationalism :
One of the most prevailing traits of Egyptian Press and Media are Panic Fevers and sensationalism, all major press publications have utilized this tactic one way or another. The readers were always braced with a wave of attacks on a certain group or activity for a certain span of time. Usually it’s mindless and lacks any objectivity, one of the knights of these charges was the prominent journalist and TV anchor Wael El Ebrashy who created campaigns usually mixing reality with lies . One of his most infamous campaigns were back in 1997 against what he called “Satanic worshippers” and accusing all Egyptian Heavy metal bands and their fans of organizing sexual orgies and getting involved of Satanic worshipping rituals.
The police authorities cracked down on one of the metal gigs and ended up imprisoning dozens of younger music fans and band members and accused them of heresy and Satan worshipping. Also banning famous bands like Metallica from performing in Egypt was a result of this campaign. The case ended up as being a big fiasco since all allegations were later dropped by the general attorney but after the defamation that these poor young musicians and fans had to endure of months. Similar ridiculous campaigns were launched by the same journalist against other younger groups like the EMOs and others with lesser resounding success. El Ebarashi isn’t the only journalist who utilizes these Panic fever tactics and sensationalism but unfortunately many other prominent journalists have utilized the same tactics for decades. That is a trait that the Egyptian media and press have to cleanse themselves from in the upcoming years.
“Egypt is the mother and the big sister” Egyptian media propagated the idea for decades as a matter of extreme nationalism to cover on many domestic issues that were unresolved by consecutive regimes and method of superiority over others. Moreover,, it provides the average Egyptian a catharsis from the daily life burdens and a method for politicians and media workers to justify their actions in the name of acting as the big sister as the prefer to call the country. The over personalization of politics in Egypt is staggering with Egypt being the mother of all nations and the president is the father of all Egyptians. Accordingly, it is propagated by a wide spectrum of media outlets that Egyptians have to pay the price for the Arab world’s problems and be that through wars 4 of which has been fought already for Palestine and one in Yemen. Not counting the countless involvements in other nations like in the Algerian war of independence and many others. While other nations particularly in the Gulf states evolves and showing signs of progress, the Egyptian nation is still on a stand still because of not organizing the priorities and the weaknesses of the Egyptian nation is reflecting a negative effect on the Palestinian-Israeli struggle as well and can represent a dead end for that cause.
Many of the Egyptian media journalists, writers and anchors in most of the past century resemble the classical Arab poets of the medieval eras. These poets used to recite great poems of praise to the sultan or the caliphate and they would gain a lot of influence and gold out of that. Should the caliphate reject them for any reason, they change their poems of praise into poems of defamation and harsh criticism. Many Journalist, Anchors and column writers applied the same tactic in modern day Egypt. They either get the high ranked positions with incredibly exaggerated salaries or they join the opposition forces seeking some fame and glory.
Unfortunately, Egyptian Media lacks a unified code of ethics enforced by a strict law that governs the work of press, radio, TV and news networks like all democratic countries.
Aside from a ridiculous and tyrant censorship laws that should be eradicated to enable more freedom of expression, the code of ethics in Egyptian Media outlets should be set to guarantee total freedom of expression while maintaining responsibility for the printed and broadcasted material.
“A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad”
Albert Camus (1913-1960) French novelist, essayist and dramatist.
Part A of the article can be checked here