Before we read:
This is the first issue of “the Egyptian media in a week” newsletter…
The newsletter aims at documenting the most important topics and issues covered by the media in Egypt and the ways and extent of professionalism that marred the coverage of these topics. As prominent writer Norman Douglas said, “Don’t eat every dish the media offers you”, we urge readers not to believe everything they read, watch, or hear in various media outlets, before they think, question it, and know the difference between information and opinion, media and advertisement/commercials, criticism and defamation, and between blackout and disclosure. The same political writer also said “some forms of publicity (propaganda) invent a remedy for problems that do not exist”.
First: News websites:
“Mobtada” news website…Publicity not a report ” – “
“El-Watan” news website…Conviction without legal defense ” – “
“Youm7“… An opinion not a piece of news ” – “
1- “Youm7” news website…27 July 2021
“Police reshuffle 2021 takes into account the functional and social rules”
“The transfer and promotion (reshuffle) of police officers aims to strengthen security directorates and public service bodies with the best elements, in terms of functional and health standards, so as to improve the security services provided to citizens. The reshuffle, also, takes into account the social and health conditions of officers, within the framework of the rules to achieve social, psychological and job stability.”
The report is initiated with a headline that carries an opinion on the police latest reshuffle; the journalist intruded himself into the news piece and applauded the move, which undermines the principle of impartiality. The editor continued to merge opinion with information in listing the objectives of the police reshuffle while praising it as if he is part of the story.
The remarks made in the report can be uttered by an official in the police apparatus while speaking about the goals and benefits of the reshuffle but cannot be uttered by a journalist whose role is limited to conveying information.
2- “Mobtada” news website…27 July 2021
“Hayah Karima”, governors remove obstacles to draw a smile on the faces of villages’ residents
The headline seems to be promoting propaganda- for Hayah Karima (Decent Life) Initiative-as is clear in the language used. It also displays a complete bias towards governors, which violates the principle of journalistic neutrality.
As for the body of the lengthy report, it is more of a narration of the governors’ efforts and activism in following up the implementation of the initiative, as it only bears praise for these efforts without giving any evaluation of them.
The report lacks objectivity and balance as it is devoid of any reference to the current conditions of villagers or any other opinions evaluating the Hayah Karima Initiative and the efforts exerted therein.
3- “El-Watan” news website…27 July 2021
“The Ethics Committee of the House of Representatives deemed it enough to blame MP Mohamed Abdel-Alim Daoud, after he was referred to it over accusation of insulting some members of the House, recommending that it would be enough to only put the blame on him.
Abdel Wahab Khalil, a member of the House of Representatives, told “El-Watan” that blaming is the least possible punishment that can be meted out to the accused, after he assured the committee that he (the accused) did not intend to offend his parliamentary colleagues and that he was only addressing general national issues.”
The news piece lacks the value and principle of balance and fairness, so it only came out with the punishment imposed on the MP Abdel Wahab Khalil, who in turn has the right to response, via the same website, to what was published about him and to punish the one who talked about him. The news report also lacks an important informational part; since it didn’t inform the reader of the (nature of the) accusation or offense directed by the parliamentarian against his colleagues and led to his punishment.
4- “Sada El-Balad” news website published on 31 July a very long report that says:
Lengthy news report:
“Major General Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development, confirmed that the national project for the development of the Egyptian countryside’s villages, as part of the Decent Life “Hayah Karima” Initiative, is Egypt’s 21st century project. Shaarawy pointed out that no country in the world implements a project of this large size with total investments exceeding about 700 billion EGP over a period of 3 years.”
“This came during the participation of the Minister of Local Development today in the conference and exhibition of Dar Al-Tahrir for printing and publishing “Al-Gomhouria Newspaper” (Egypt – Al-Sisi.. and building the modern state) (7 years of construction, development and progress)…”
The report came as an act of propaganda because it only addresses the minister’s remarks and a government’s view of what is being planned. It lost the value of balance or any neutral opinion of economic and development experts, to comment on the minister’s speech and evaluate the project and its cost, or address the current situation of the Egyptian countryside. This news piece can be placed in a publicity or propagandistic framework and cannot be categorized under accurate balanced journalism.
5- “Cairo24” news website…31 July 2021
The “Hohos Girl” sister: “She blocked us on the “Tik Tok” in order not to see her obscene videos.”
Marwa A., sister of Yasmeen A., known on the “Tik Tok” application as “Kaa’in Al-Hohos” or (Hohos living being or organism), said that her family had broken off their relations with her and boycotted her because of her bad reputation in their district.
Marwa added, in statements to “Cairo 24”, that the Hohos girl blocked all family members on the “Tik Tok” platform, so that they would not see her indecent videos.
From its headline, the report relies on inflammatory and provocative material. It also carries a condemnation, defamation against an accused girl whose case is still in the course of deliberation before the judiciary. The journalist considered publishing only the first name of the girl’s sister as if he was preserving her privacy! But the news piece is attached to a picture of the accused itself which is totally considered to be defamatory for the defendant. The report, also, lacks any defense or opinion contrary to the defendant’s conviction making it devoid of principle of fairness, one of the most important principles of journalism and justice. Here, therefore, the accused (girl) became convicted before being sentenced by the court while there is no space for him to defend himself.
6- “Mada Masr” website… On 31 July 2021
An integrated report on delaying the second dose of “AstraZeneca” Vaccine for citizens from 5 Egyptian governorates…
The report is informative, balanced and accurate. It followed all professional rules in disseminating information from all parties related to the news; starting with documenting the accuracy of the news by publishing what happened with one of the cases that were informed of the postponement of the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, to the journalist following up on the matter by calling the Ministry of Health’s hotline. The report also published documented information and statements by the Minister of Health about available vaccines and doses. The journalist’s laudable effort was crowned with outlining the medical impact of postponing the second dose of the vaccine, as clarified by Hamdi Ibrahim, member of the Scientific Committee to Combat Coronaviurs.
7- “Mobtada” news website… Monday 2 July publishes a propaganda report, not a news report, saying:
“The Long Live Egypt Fund has launched a new convoy to provide food and new clothes to the most vulnerable families in the villages of Mandesha and Al-Qasaat, affiliated to “Al-Wahat Al-Bahryia” Center (in Giza governorate), within the two initiatives “Bel Hana w Al Shifa” and “Dokan Al-Farah”, in implementation of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s directives to intensify the fund’s activities in remote and border areas.”
“Bel Hana w Al Shifa and Dokan Al-Farah initiatives are part of the activities of the social protection axis, through which the Fund implements several initiatives to support the most vulnerable families and lift the burdens of living from their shoulders. Coordination is carried out with the Ministry of Social Solidarity to ensure that support reaches those who deserve it…”
The report sheds light only on the activity of the Long Live Egypt fund. It can be classified within the propaganda news in the electoral campaigns, but it does not fall within the news and press reports because it overlooked the most important humanitarian point, which is the families and their conditions which the Fund said are the number one priority. The report also left several press questions unanswered, including: what are the reasons for the deteriorating conditions of these families? Are these foodstuffs sufficient to meet the needs of these families? Are there sustainable solutions to change this deteriorating situation?
Second: Talk Shows
Lamis El-Hadidi in “A Last Word” TV show… 26 July 2021
Lamis El-Hadidi claims that the Muslim Brotherhood had ruled Tunisia in the past ten years, during which the Tunisian people and economy experienced the harshest times under the rule of “Ennahda” Part and the MB, referring to the rapprochement between Tunisian President Kais Saied’s decisions and what happened in Egypt on the eve of 30 June 2013.
** This is considered false information. The Muslim Brotherhood did not rule Tunisia after the Tunisian revolution, but the country was rather ruled by presidents who have nothing to do with the MB, and they are: “Moncef Marzouki, Caid Essebsi, and Kais Saied.”
Furthermore, the Tunisian people did not revolt against the MB, but there were some demonstrations that erupted across the country in support of Kais’s decisions, and other demonstrations staged by people with opposing views, while the matter is still disputable in Tunisia.
Tamer Amin at “Aker Al-Nahar” program on “Al-Nahar” TV channel… On 28 July 2021
On the occasion of the World Day to Combat Hepatitis C Virus, Tamer said that Egypt’s experience in combating hepatitis is a miracle and that the major medical and scientific centers in the world are dealing with its practices as a case study. He narrated how Egypt has transformed from a home infected with Hepatitis C, with which most of the Egyptian people are infected, to a model of miraculous achievement.
** This is incorrect information that came in the course of his propaganda for the 100 Million Health Campaign. It was never proven that most Egyptians were infected with Hepatitis C Virus, nor was Egypt an infested country. The infection rates only ranged between 3% and 5%, and the highest estimates reached 22 %
Also, he didn’t give a sole example of a single valuable research center that took Egypt’s practices in fighting Hepatitis C as a case study or model.
The same day (28 July)… Ahmed Mosa at “On my Responsibility” Program, aired on “Sada ElBalad” TV channel, said:
That Ghannouchi (Tunisia’s parliament speaker) is charged with communicating/ spying for foreign countries and international organizations, and that Ennahda Movement in Tunisia (he means the Muslim Brotherhood) faces also charges of receiving funds from abroad and orchestrating assassinations, in the literal meaning of the word!
** Rashid Ghannouchi is not accused of communicating with any party, as the journalist claimed. The accusations, pertaining to “receiving funds from abroad” over which the current investigations are underway, are only limited to 3 parties including the Ennahda Movement.
During his “Paper and Pen” TV show, Nashat Al-Dihi, said, on July 31:
“There are foreign intelligence services messing around in the Libyan interior, trying to distort the image of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi in order to keep him away from the Libyan elections.”
He commented on the interview of New York Times’ journalist Robert newspaper, whom Al-Dihi considered as “sympathetic to the Brotherhood”. He enumerated the places or “the conflict areas” which the journalist had moved to work in; including Baghdad in 2003, witnessing the occupation of Iraq, Beirut in 2006 and 2007, which was followed by the war in Lebanon, and then Cairo 2010 to cover the parliamentary elections that followed the so-called Arab Spring, as claimed by Nashat al-Daihi.
Defending Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, Al-Dihi claims that what the journalist reported is not necessarily what Saif Al-Islam said or what Saif Al-Asm meant.
** It is known that the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court unanimously accepted the lawsuit filed against Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi before the Court, while it turned down Gaddafi’s appeal against Pre-Trial Chamber I in the spring of 2020.
Therefore, Nashat Al-Daihi appeared to be promoting and defending an accused person, while leveling accusations against the well-known American journalist Robert Roth, who works for a credible New York Times newspaper.