First: News websites:
“El-Watan” & “Youm7″… governmental advertisements and not news reports, “Sada El-Balad”… a commendation for Saudi Arabia and a piece of news
1- El-Watan news website published on 25 August a report that reads:
“Areas of 106 meters… Details on Egypt’s Medium-Income Housing Units in New Cairo… Sources: Price of residential units in the project is expected to be stable at EGP 7,655 per square metre.
Sources from the New Urban Communities Authority pointed out to “El-Watan” that it is expected that the price of the housing units, which are planned to be launched in the project, will be fixed at EGP 7,655, adding that the remaining housing units will be offered from the serials “2, 3, 5 and 6.”
The website published a lengthy report on Egypt’s Medium-Income Housing Units saying that the project will be launched the next month. The report’s editor followed the same approach adopted by many news websites in covering such government projects; as he mentioned that the value of the residential units will be fixed at 7655 pounds per square metre, which is low (cheap). But he didn’t, objectively, publish any news or explanatory information regarding this fixed price or value and whether it is suitable for middle-income earners. He also didn’t ask for the opinion of an economist to evaluate these projects.
The report is devoid of the principle of balance, fairness and objectivity. The journalist could have, easily and with a simple calculation, clarified that the price of the residential unit or apartment in this project will reach about 900 thousand pound, and accordingly pose a fair question: Can a young man who wants to get married afford the cost of this apartment?
2- “Youm7” news website published, on 25 August, a report that reads:
“20 billion pounds allocated to improve the efficiency of electricity networks in “Hayah Karima” Villages..
The “Hayah Karima” (Decent Life) Initiative aims, through a comprehensive and integrated program, to meet the needs of the people of villages and the neediest categories in the fields of infrastructure, services, economic development and social protection. It works to raise the efficiency of electricity and public lighting services through an expanded plan to improve the efficiency of electrical networks, and the plan is to be implemented on 3 stages…”
The journalist started his news report by talking about the goals of the Hayah Karima” (Decent Life) Initiative without attributing it to any official in charge of the initiative, and this is considered an interference that affects his neutrality. Then he began to present important information and numbers about raising the efficiency of electricity services without any expert assessment regarding such figures and whether they are appropriate to cover people’s needs. The piece also lacks balance, as it introduced numbers and information from only one party and didn’t mention the other party, or any other neutral party including the beneficiary party, which is represented in citizens- who should be mentioned to speak about their current conditions.
3- “Mobtada” news website published, on 25 August, a report that says:
Shaarawy: We will not allow entry to local development employees who don’t undertake the coronavirus vaccination”
Shaarawy pointed out that there is coordination between the Ministry of Local Development and the Ministry of Health to provide COVID-19 vaccine to the ministry’s employees, in implementation of the political leadership’s directives and the Prime Minister’s assignments that each ministry undertakes the arrangement and coordination with the Ministry of Health, for its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, in a way to increase the number of vaccine recipients to protect all citizens from this virus.
The minister stressed that after the Ministry of Health and Population’s committee finished vaccinating all workers and employees, those who didn’t receive the vaccination will not be allowed to enter the ministry.
This is a piece of news in which, the Major General, the Minister of Local Development, speaks alone about the vaccination of employees at the Ministry of Local Development. It ignores mentioning any statements or remarks from the other party, the employees. It doesn’t also mention any statements from the Ministry of Health about the number of employees who have already been vaccinated. The piece is devoid of balance and fairness, while it uses threatening language quoting the minister, without presenting any information about the availability of the vaccine and whether there is any refusal to receive it from any of the employees, which is something that can be happened in any part of the world.
4- “Sada El-Balad” published, on 28 August, a piece of news that reads:
“Saudi Arabia announces glad tidings for those who received the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.”
The Saudi Ministry of Health announced that those who have received two doses of either the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines will be allowed to enter the Kingdom, provided that they have received an additional dose of a vaccine approved in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Health Authority stated, via its account, “Health 937″, that guests who have completed two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines, will be accepted if they have received an additional dose of one of the vaccines approved in the Kingdom”.
The piece adopts a headline that applauds Saudi Arabia’s decision using the words “glad tidings”, so it is, from its beginning, devoid of the principle of impartiality as the journalist interfered in the news. He also quoted the Saudi authorities as making the aforementioned statements without verifying these statements or making any effort to understand what they really mean. The Saudi statement means that those who received the two doses of the vaccine in Egypt cannot enter Saudi Arabia. It also means that those who received a dose in Saudi Arabia and a dose in Egypt cannot either enter the country. So, if the journalist had made some effort, he would have known that many Egyptians are suffering because they are rejected to return to their work in Saudi Arabia due to the authorities’ refusal. Therefore, this piece lacks accuracy and fairness, the most important principles of journalism.
5- Mada Masr published, on 29 August, a news report that says:
Dozens of Egyptians held in Libya after migrant boat bound for Italy capsizes… A survivor: I paid 7,500 LE to board the boat to Italy and 5,000 Libyan dinars to escape after I was saved
One of the survivors of a capsized migrant boat bound for Italy told “Mada Masr” that the Egyptians who survived the incident are held in the city of Zawiya in western Libya and that the authorities were intending to deport them to Tripoli, where he is currently residing, after he succeeded, along with another survivor, to escape from the Libyan authorities.”
The report is good in terms of highlighting the humanitarian side of the story. It shows a real effort in reaching one of the survivors of the incident (of a capsized migrant boat), together with another source from the relatives of the survivors. It conveyed all the available information and accurately attributed it to its sources, but, on the other hand, it didn’t address the Egyptian authorities’ point of view in addition to their efforts in this regard. So, the report is devoid of the principle of balance.
6- “Masrawy” news website published on 30 August a report says:
Counselor Ali Mokhtar Al-Rais, President of Cairo Court of Appeal and the investigative judge mandated to investigate the case known in the media as “foreign funding”, ruled that there is no ground for filing a criminal lawsuit against 4 civil society organizations, entities and associations due to insufficient evidence.
These four entities are: the United Group (Lawyers, Legal, Advisors, and Economists), Lawyers for Justice and Peace, the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement, and the Egyptian Democratic Institute.
This came in the official fifth statement issued by Counselor Ali Mokhtar, in which he stressed that sustainable development – which has become a vital and urgent requirement, is primarily concerned with achieving the development of material resources and the human element likewise, especially since they are both the mainstay of national and international economies. And given the existence of many challenges and problems that countries may face in their quest to achieve development in its concept, and given the existence of many challenges and problems that countries may face in their pursuit of development in its comprehensive sense, they (the countries) must involve civil society, which represents the link between them and individuals as they are represented the group being targeted and the beneficiary of sustainable development in order to achieve sufficiency and then prosperity.
The news piece cited the rationale of the court’s order issued by the investigative judge mandated in the case publicly known as “foreign funding”, and devoted a big space for the details of this case. However, the journalist didn’t mention any statements or remarks from the other party of the case; NGOs and civil society entities, which were the victim of the damage and the harm inflicted on them as a result of the accusations attributed to them, making the piece lack balance and objectivity in dealing with the case.
Also, the journalist turned a blind eye to the origin of the case and its background which dates back to 10 years ago making his news piece seem incomplete. When you read the underlined paragraph citing the judge’s statement, in which he applauds and emphasizes the importance of the participation of civil society associations, you may ask a very logical question: Given the importance of civil society organizations, why then were they punished throughout this long period? The piece didn’t provide an answer to this question because it didn’t present the point of view of the party who suffered this damage.
Second: Talk Shows
1- “Akher Al-Nahar” TV program, anchorman Mohamed Al-Baz, Al-Nahar TV, episode of Friday 27 August 2021
In the episode of the previous week, “Al-Baz” spoke about lawyer Ahmed Mahran. He deliberately insulted him and accused him of joining the Muslim Brotherhood group, which Mahran strongly denied. He also accused him of psychological disorder and verbally defamed him. In the episode of Akher An-Nahar program aired on August 27, 2021, the anchorman went on saying:
“At time when we are trying to form a new generation of preachers to form a disciplined and a modern religious discourse, we find people who are stirring sedition in society and we don’t know to which or to whom they are affiliated. Last week, I pointed out that lawyer Ahmed Mahran, who every now and then brings to us the idea of what he called “part-time marriage” or “experience marriage” to plunge society into a total maze and labyrinth. And as I said, this man was leading the demonstrations of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood after June 30th, and I may say that he intentionally seeks to create social strife”, while he presented some undocumented papers to incriminate Mahran.
The anchor used language of conspiracy against the same person in two episodes. He incited against him and deliberately insulted him and questioned his integrity, whereas the other person, on the other hand, didn’t have the right to respond or defend himself or even appear to discuss what was attributed to him, which constitutes a violation of objectivity and professionalism.
The episode link:
2- “On My Responsibility” program, anchorman Ahmed Mosa, Sada El-Balad TV, 29 August
News: 11 illegal migrants, from Dakahlia Governorate, drowned at the Mediterranean Sea
Anchor: He started his comment on the news by saying that Egypt put an end to illegal immigration since 2016. He went on saying:”How come people and their families allow their children, and collect money for them, thousands of money, and give it to a company located in the same village, (to immigrate abroad). By the way, the company’s owner who facilitated the immigration of 11 people, all of them drowned, has been arrested. (How come) today you find people crossing the borders of their country illegally, under the pretext that some of them are going to meet their brothers in Libya. To make it clear, they are really going to board a boat bound for a European country and then happen what always happens. Again people die. But the question here is: Egypt today has unprecedented job opportunities which haven’t existed before in our history. In Daqahlyia (for example), you have the New Mansoura, one of the national projects that provide job opportunities, and this is next to your homes. I mean, you can take a car for just half an hour or less and you will be in New Mansoura City”.
The presenter did not ask about the causes of the accident and what motivates those young people to emigrate and flee the country. Rather, he used the method of blaming and reprimanding the victims and their families instead of comforting or reassuring them or offering their families condolences and support; because these young people did not commit a crime that is worth death.
Instead of using his program and doing his role in raising awareness and warning society of this disaster that wastes the lives of many people, he marginalized the issue and started promoting state projects such as “Hayah Karima” Project, among other projects, and not caring for the bloods of victims, so the program is devoid of accuracy and objectivity.
The episode’s link:
3- “Al-Hayah Al-Youm”, anchorwoman Lobna Aasal, episode of 30 August 2021
Episode’s guest: Major General Magdy Abdel Halim, former Assistant Minister of Interior
The episode was entitled “Al-Hayah Al-Youm continues its series of episodes on how to confront digital illiteracy to address the fourth and fifth generation wars”.
Guest: Fourth generation wars are, in a more correct sense, the reason for the failure of the state. So, what are the elements being used in these wars?
Human rights organizations, civil society organizations and associations, opposition (forces), intelligence, the media and social media.
Anchorwoman: So you are here telling us that toppling the state from inside comes at the hands of its citizens or misleading parties who are recruited (exploited) in one way or another to achieve this goal.
Guest: I have reached that the goal of toppling the state or derailing the county is achieved through the protest vigils staged by the opposition and this can happen from within the institution itself; sabotage elements that disrupt the interests of a citizen in a way that makes him always feel dissatisfied and resentful of the state that he does not have any trust in the regime.
He went on saying: “The sixth generation wars that currently took place on the ground are considered hybrid wars; all the means that you have seen before, in addition to using the internet as a main weapon, using birds, fish and animals. And this is called artificial intelligence; in a way that birds are harnessed first for monitoring and observation, and for hitting or striking certain targets, as we have seen the wildfires that rage across the world nowadays by drones or animals. People on social media saw animals spewing fire from their mouths, and this is real, but this bird is not normal, it is a created bird.
Anchorwoman: You mean that it is like a drone, but in the form of a normal bird?
Comment: This episode can be an example of myths and propaganda of absurd information. The guest is speaking about animals spewing fire from their mouths and birds practicing espionage, as if it is part of a science fiction movie!
On her part, the presenter didn’t provide any evidence or document for the guest’s remarks, which makes the program lack accuracy, objectivity and credibility, as it fell within the framework of deliberate misleading of society.
The episode’s link:
Third: Printed newspapers
Al-Ahram newspaper, Issue of Wednesday 25 August, Last Page
An article by writer Salah Montasser entitled “Just an opinion”
The writer addressed three topics in his article: the first is about the relations between Egypt and Turkey, and the second is what we are concerned about, in which he wrote: “In our history, we took to the streets twice, once on March 19 and the second time on June 13, and both of them were in defense of our national unity.”
The writer presents an example of the one whose opinion greatly fluctuated and his stances changed according to the regime’s affiliations. Salah Montasser was one of those who most praised and applauded the January Revolution at time it was in its bloom and now he is ignoring it. On 12 February 2011, “Al-Masry Al-Youm” newspaper published a report entitled ” Salah Montasser: 15 Gains made by the youth revolution in two weeks- The report’s link: https://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details /1833517. He turned from a one who supported the January Revolution’s supporter to a one who opposes it due to the change in the political circumstances of the country!