– “Al-Dostor” news website, no neutrality/impartiality… “Mobtada” & “Youm7” & “Sada El-Bald”, propaganda and promotion… “Mada Masr”, an impartial press report “News website”
– “Al-Wafd” newspaper, hostility towards social media, Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar newspapers, advertisements in the form of a press report “Newspapers”
– “Pen and Paper” TV program, false information, “”, a judgment of conviction before trial “Talk shows”
First News website
– “Al-Dostor” publishes a news report, on 1 October, reads:
“The President works days and night to improve his homeland, Sisi’s most important activities at the end of September:
The past week witnessed intense activity by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who works day and night to improve the Egyptian state and provide all means of safety and comfort for the Egyptian people.
President Sisi’s activity was not only internal, but included an important phone call with King Abdullah II of Jordan, and a meeting with Hamilton Mourao, Vice President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, and Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Adviser.
In the following report, we’ll outline the most prominent activities of President Sisi over the past week.
The journalist begins his news story with a headline in which he strays from the principle of neutrality, while losing the reader’s confidence. When a journalist is clearly biased and begins his report by praise and commendation, it turns into an opinion article and not a press report that conveys the available information to the public and gives readers the opportunity to judge, and this is the role of journalism.
The report enumerated the president’s work and activities throughout the week. It deems the diplomatic contacts and phone calls made by the president as a hard task. The journalist evaluated himself the president’s efforts, and considers that all of which deserve commendation and applause. He didn’t leave any space for readers to think and judge themselves, turning his piece of news into propaganda and promotional campaigns, similar to that made before an election campaign by someone working in the campaign and not a journalist for one of the news websites.
– “Mobtada” website publishes, on 2 October, a report that says:
Minister of Justice: “The City of Justice” in the New Administrative Capital is the centerpiece of judicial work projects
The Minister of Justice confirmed, in the ceremony marking the Egyptian Judiciary Day which was held at the Al Manara International Conference Center, today (Saturday), in the presence of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, that the Ministry of Justice has accomplished, in less than two years, an unprecedented achievement of development projects to enhance the judicial system, praising the efforts of President El-Sisi in supporting the judicial system in Egypt.
Marwan added, “History will remember President El-Sisi’s conscious leadership of the country in a delicate historical circumstance brimming with challenges and vicissitudes, during which you consolidate the state’s institutions and magnify its forces to confront the severe challenges and terrorist operations.”
The news story bears nothing but mere praise and commendation for the establishment of new buildings for the judiciary and the justice system to carry out its work. It doesn’t entail any information about the benefit of the so-called “City of Justice” and how this city can contribute to achieving justice for citizens in various areas of litigation. The story lacks objectivity and is dedicated only to applaud a government official, without talking about the judiciary itself on the Egyptian Judiciary Day.
– Youm7 publishes, on 2 October, a report that reads:
Minister of Higher Education: We are reaping the benefits of the state pumping huge investments into universities
Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education, confirmed that there is a surplus in vacancies at private colleges. This is very good and resulted from the recent establishment of public universities in most Egypt’s governorates, pointing to the establishment of 5 new universities and 4 private universities in the New Administrative Capital.
“We have stayed for more than 50 years during which we haven’t added any new educational platforms despite the fact that the population is increasing, and this matter was a great pressure during these previous years,” the minister added.
The journalist left the minister speaking and citing numbers and figures without examining how accurate or precise they are. The official said that Egypt hasn’t established any educational platforms for more than 50 years, and this is a piece of information that should be subject to much of review and scrutiny, but the journalist didn’t do any. He didn’t even review the universities that have been established in the Administrative Capital or checked whether they have already started working or not, and he merely quoted the official as saying so.
So, the piece is devoid of balance and scrutiny of information and turned into a commendation by a government official for what the government is doing.
– Sada El-Bald publishes, on 3 October, a piece of news that says:
Hala Zayed, Minister of Health and Population, confirmed that the vaccines available in Egypt have been approved by the World Health Organization by 100%.
Hala Zayed added, in a telephone interview with the “Hayah Al-Youm” program aired on “Al-Hayat” satellite channel, that there are some countries that prefer certain vaccines over others, commenting: “This has no justification, and every country imposes what comforts it.”
Hala Zayed explained that most European countries have started to approve the vaccines that they previously rejected, noting that there are about 14 European countries that have approved the Sinovac vaccine produced by Egypt.
Here the journalist just quoted the minister, who has the right to say whatever she wants, but the journalist has to do his job explaining to the reader the available information about COVID-10 vaccination and why a country prefers a certain vaccine over the other. All newspapers and websites around the world have published studies that indicate the effectiveness of every vaccine and explain the differences between each of them, but the journalist didn’t do that and was satisfied with the speech of the Minister of Health, making his news story be devoid of objectivity and accurate information.
– “Cairo 24” news website publishes, on 4 October, a report that says:
Today, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Republic, issued a presidential decree No. 441 of 2021, which provides for the dismissal of state employees upon non-disciplinary method.
The decision published in the Official Gazette (today’s issue) stipulates for the formation of a committee affiliated with the Prime Minister and headed by one of the deputies or assistants of the Minister of Justice, provided that it includes 10 representatives from ministries and bodies, and that the degree of each of them is not less than excellent or its equivalent.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Republic, also issued Resolution No. 442 of 2021 regarding the imposition of all or some of the measures in some areas of the Sinai Peninsula.
The piece of news is not clear, as the journalist didn’t exert any effort to explain to readers the purport of the decision. Also, the first part of the piece tackling the employee’s dismissal without upon non-disciplinary method needs us to hit pause for a little while. The news story raises questions than it gives answers. Among these questions: How will employees be dismissed and for what reasons? Does this resolution open the way for whims to punish employees? What is the role of the committee that the piece is talking about?
In its second part, the piece talks about the imposition of measures (all of the measures or some of them). It didn’t explain to readers what kind of measures are they?!
– Mada Masr publishes, on 4 October, a news story that reads:
Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities: Clearing a half-acre of archaeological fish park “Jabalaya” because an investor wants to convert it to restaurants, cafeterias and a garage
The Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mustafa Waziri, said that developing the archaeological fish park by the investor is a matter that necessarily needs to be presented before the Permanent Committee of Egyptian Islamic and Coptic Antiquities, since the park is registered in its census, pointing out that the standing committee has decided to exploit a small area that doesn’t exceed half an acre of the park space to be removed from the Antiquities census.
what the investor thought was necessary to present it to the Permanent Committee of Islamic and Christian Antiquities, because the park is registered, explaining that the committee ended with deducting half an acre, to be crossed out from the antiquities census.
The half-acre area, which will be removed from the ministry’s census and will be used as a parking lot, will be a flat land with no heritage (archaeological) or non-heritage trees and no buildings will be inaugurated on it.
For his part, Mohamed Hamza, former dean of the Faculty of Archeology at Cairo University and a former member of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, asserted to “Mada Masr” that it is necessary for the Ministry of Antiquities to specify the “small” area they want to remove from its census, and whether it is included from all sides surrounding the Jabaliya or just from one side. He pointed out that even if this area “does not contain any buildings that are registered as antiquities in the ministry’s census”, the law guarantees the protection of the sanctuary of the antiquity – the surroundings adjacent to the monument – and beautification lines, to the same extent as protecting the antiquity itself, but the ministry ignores this point, as Hamza said. He also stated that the park’s floor is decorated with asphaltic mosaic, which is one of the rarest in the world.
In this report, Mada Masr presents what is missing in most of the press news and reports published on the other news websites. It brought the former dean of the Faculty of Archeology at Cairo University to explain the other opinion on the issue of deducting half an acre from the fish park and how this might affect the archaeological park. This reflects the value of balance, objectivity and journalistic fairness, which enriches the report and makes it useful for readers by getting to know the truth of the news story.
Third: Printed newspapers
– “Al-Ahaly” newspaper, issue of 29 September 2021
Journalist Shaima Mohsen published a news story on the third page titled “The End of the of Pharmacy Chains Phenomenon”, saying: “Dr. Mohamed Al-Sheikh, head of Cairo Pharmacists’ Syndicate and a member of the Senate, confirmed the complete end of the pharmacy chains phenomenon, pointing to the collapse of major chains.” He also added, “There will be no chains in the future… I reassure pharmacists, the chains phenomenon will completely come to an end. Major chains have already witnessed collapses, and the rest’s turn will come soon.”
The journalist dealt with the Pharmacists Syndicate’s head’s statements as completely true without trying to verify their accuracy. She used a headline that gives an impression that the pharmacy chains have already ended and become a thing of the past, and this contradicts the reality on the ground. Moreover, the news story failed to present any additional information such as; the reasons behind the tendency to cancel pharmacy chains, the opinion of pharmacies’ owners and those affected by this decision, to what extent such decisions are legal, and are there other compensatory alternatives for the capital’s owners? And what is the impact of such decisions on the Egyptian investment market in the field of medicines?
– Al-Akhbar newspaper, 30 September 2021
Journalist Ibrahim Odeh published, on the newspaper’s third page, a news story with the headline “A fire in Agouza Hospital brought under control”
The news piece didn’t mention any information that is of concern to the reader regarding the causes of the fire’s outbreak and whether there is an investigation that will be opened by the Public Prosecution into the matter? Or are there any measures that will be taken, whether legally and administratively, to hold the negligent accountable?
– Al-Akhbar newspaper, issue of 1 October 2021
Ahmed Zakaria wrote on Al-Akhbar newspaper’s fourth page a statement quoting Dr. Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance, as saying “we have a supportive climate for investment, and the state, with its various institutions, is concerned about encouraging the participation of the local and foreign private sector in supporting the national development plans, fostering infrastructure at the highest level, and providing a supportive climate for investment; through legislative amendments aimed at encouraging investors and the private sector to lead the development process.
The statements of the Minister of Finance do not contain any useful information, but rather loose terms that have no meaning. He didn’t define what exactly the national development plans are and how state institutions can encourage the private sector to participate in these supposed plans, nor did he mention what legislative amendments are proposed in order to target investors and encourage them to pump their money to the country. The news story didn’t add anything new, except that the minister said that we have a supportive climate for investment, as he claimed!
– Al-Wafd newspaper, 2 October 2021
Journalist Doaa Mahran wrote an investigative report about what she called the “chaos of social media”, addressing whether it is necessary to impose taxes on it? The report is entitled “Youtubers, bloggers and influencers, random professions that destroy society”. Speaking about “YouTube”, she wrote: “Due to the penetration of societies, many countries, such as China and Russia, resorted to banning these websites. Does Egyptian society need to close YouTube platforms to preserve the Egyptian identity? especially that the measures taken by the Egyptian government to combat these videos and prosecuting those who release them were not effective enough to prevent the appearance of more of such channels with their immoral content, especially since the financial compensation earned by the owners of these channels made them not stop broadcasting such materials, but rather they are expanding every after day.”
Making judgments has never been one of the roles of journalism. The newspaper here made a mistake when it judges, generalizes and insults people of a certain profession, which has recently begun to spread globally in accordance with the requirements of the new reality and technological development that the Egyptian society might not understand, or to make it clear, that the Egyptian regime hasn’t yet known the best way to deal with or fully contain it. But this doesn’t give the right to widely judge or insult the practitioners of such professions and put them all in one category, accusing them of destroying society and its values, spreading immorality, and disseminating rumors and false news. The report was biased against such professions and prejudiced by many professional errors. Even when it cited many specialists in the fields of journalism, psychiatry and sociology, they were in agreement with the view presented, reflecting a supremacist ideology that tries to impose a certain point of view and perspective of morals and societal values on readers, not to mention the referring to the Chinese and Russian model in the way they deal with social media websites. These are repressive models in the first place and cannot be constituted as a good or ideal model to follow.
– “Al-Akhbar” newspaper, 2 October 2021
– Al-Ahram newspaper, 2 October 2021
The two abovementioned newspapers shared the same mistake, as they published an advertisement material in the form of a news item or a press report, without making clear boundaries to the public that it is an advertisement material, which constitutes a deception against the reader and a violation of the code of professional conduct. The advertisement, which was published on the seventh page of Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper, was also published and on the eighth page of Al-Ahram newspaper with the same ad space dedicated, and using the same wording and headline: “Under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Egyptian Medicines Authority… Pharmaconex Exhibition for Pharmaceutical Industries will be launched tomorrow”.
– Al-Wafd newspaper, 3 October 2021
On the newspaper’s third page, Samia Farouk wrote a piece of news with the headline “A report accusing Safwan Thabet’s wife of spreading false news.” She said: lawyer Samir Sabry filed an urgent complaint to the Public Prosecutor and the Supreme State Security Prosecution against Bahira Ibrahim Al-Shawi, the wife of the terrorist Safwan Thabet, about the incident of spreading false news through one of the TV channels that are hostile to Egypt. The journalist added that Al-Shawi deliberately aims to inciting public opinion by appearing on the terrorist Al-Jazeera channel that is hostile to the Egyptian state, channeling countries abroad, and seeking the assistance of bogus non-human rights organizations hostile to the Egyptian state.
– The newspaper dealt with the piece of news reporting about the complaint lodged by lawyer Samir Sabry as true and began promoting his allegations.
– It also labeled Al-Jazeera TV as “terrorist” and this is an incorrect classification as the Al-Jazeera Network is not included in any of the terrorism designation lists. It also hosted many Egyptian officials; on top of them is the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. The report also considers the Egyptian businessman Safwan Thabet, who is accused of crimes of funding terrorism and reviving the Muslim Brotherhood group designated as a terrorist group by the Egyptian regime, as if he is already convicted of such crimes, calling him a “terrorist” although his case is still under investigation and no court ruling has been issued to convict him so far, in addition to the fact that he is not included in the terrorism list.
– Publishing this piece of news is also considered a continuation of giving lawyers of political “Hesba” cases- a term used for lawyers who are mostly seeking fame or to appease or get close to the authorities- the opportunity to speak as if they are representatives of society so as to be famous at the expense of freedom of expression.
Third: Talk Shows
“On My Responsibility” TV Program, Ahmed Mosa, episode of Tuesday 28 September
Mosa said: Although we have limited resources, we are working hard for development even in the field of tourism. Mr. President today was talking about the field of tourism; Saint Catherine, which we visited four years ago and found that there were no planes that land there at night. So, the number of tourists that used to go there (Saint Catherine) is few and not commensurate with the importance of this place.
Ahmed Mosa confirms that Egypt has limited resources citing unsubstantiated allegations. He didn’t obtain an expert opinion to prove the validity of his allegations. How can a country that has more than a third of the world’s monuments and is bordered by two seas and two gulfs with the most beautiful beaches and diving sites in the world, and is characterized by its mild weather throughout the year, to claim its few tourist resources? Mosa wasn’t accurate at all in conveying his message nor did he take into account the competence of specialists while conveying the information he presented to his viewers.
– “Paper and pen” Program, Nashaat Al-Dihi, episode of Tuesday 28 September
Nashaat says: We’ve changed the irrigation systems; we’ve stopped using the canals. As for the sewage drains, what do we do with the sanitary sewers? Can we use this water? Of course yes we can use it. We’re the first country in the world when it comes to the efficiency of water use for more than once, and we are on our way to solving the problem of water security. We took great steps and preceded all the countries of the world
Nashat gives Egypt a global rating in water uses efficiency placing it at the forefront of the world’s countries. He claimed that Egypt has taken unprecedented steps to solve the problem of water security, and didn’t base his claims on any internationally recognized or reliable scientific source. He, out of ignorance or misleading conception, is confused between the Bahr Al-Baqar water treatment plant, which is the largest in the world, and water use efficiency methods. The difference between them is indeed significant.
– “Akher Al-Nahar”, Tamer Amin, episode of Wednesday 29 September
In the introduction of the episode, Tamer said: The phenomenon of bullying, which unfortunately has become very widespread in our society, as some people practice it while they don’t know they are committing a crime. They believe in some popular proverbs and sayings that consolidate such phenomenon. Please wipe out such sayings from your life.
In the middle of the episode, Tamer dedicated a special segment to speak about jokes (art of telling jokes) and sense of humor and how it has declined. Then he broadcasted a monologue by Hamada Sultan, in which he tells jokes that are bullying and making fun of short people and people of Upper Egypt. He severely and suddenly contradicted himself, refuting his claims of bullying and supporting the new moral social code.
“Pen and Paper”, Program, Nashaat Al-Dihi, episode of Wednesday 29 September
Al-Dihi said: The number of deaths is the decisive factor. Can the government hide or obscure the death numbers related to coronavirus? Impossible; the number of deaths of COVID-19 is known. Here in Egypt the death rate as a result of the pandemic, during 2019 and 2020, is almost unchanged.
Al-Dihi misleads his program’s viewers to praise the government’s efforts in facing the coronavirus pandemic. While the figures of the Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics indicate an increase in death rates by 16.8% in 2020 compared to 2019, Al- Dihi confirms that this rate hasn’t changed during the two aforementioned years. He didn’t present any views to support his claim, nor did he verify the accuracy, honesty and truthfulness of the information presented, as stipulated in the media honor charter.
– “Akher Al-Nahar”, Tamer Amin – September 30 episode
Tamer said: Today, the Ministry of Interior targeted a cell or a place where money was stored by the Muslim Brotherhood member Yahya Mahran Othman Kamal El-Din, who plays a prominent role in the conspiratorial plan; for being one of the main arms of the imprisoned MB leading member Safwan Thabet. Safwan assigned him to use his companies in the transfer and concealment of the organization’s funds and to invest their profit for the benefit of terrorist activities in an attempt to circumvent the legal procedures of funds seizure taken against the economic entities owned by the MB.
Tamer confirmed in this episode that the defendants are affiliated with the MB group, and convicted them of the charges attributed to them by confirming their involvement in such practices, although the case is still in the investigation phase, which violates the principle “the accused is innocent until proven guilty”.
– “Al-Hekayah” TV program, Amr Adib, episode of Saturday 2 October 2021
Amr said: Today we have a jurisprudential opinion which we don’t know to whom is attributed, but it sparked a jurisprudential controversy. It seems that it is attributed to Hanan Turk or is not, I don’t know.
Then he introduced a post by a fake account on Facebook under the name of the aforementioned woman, and interviewed via phone the Secretary of the Fatwa at the Iftaa to comment on the purport of the post.
Amr built his allegations on the opinion of an unknown person via social media. Regardless of the purport of the post, the media professional didn’t try to verify the validity of the post and to whom it is attributed, although he should do so, in accordance with Clause No. 4 of the Media Honor Charter, which provides for verification of information published through social media before it is broadcasted, and with the code of professional conduct for media performance, which obligates media professionals to depend on declared, clear and responsible sources and avoid circulating rumors and false news. It is worth noting that Hanan Turk had previously denied having any connection with this fake page.
– “Kelma Akhira”, Lamis El-Hadidi, episode of Saturday 2 October 2021
Lamis said: The government headed by Dr. Madbouly is very concerned of the story of historical Cairo. All of Cairo belongs to UNESCO’s World Heritage List and is registered as an archaeological and heritage area as well.
Lamis saying that Cairo is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List is not accurate at all; because when we search for the Egyptian archaeological areas registered with UNESCO, we find that they are represented only in the Islamic Cairo area, located in the middle and southern Cairo. So it is not true that all Cairo is registered in UNESCO, as Lamis claimed, in violation of the Code of Professional Conduct for Media Performance which stipulates for neglecting news that depends on anonymous sources.
– “Al-Hekayah” TV program, Amr Adib, episode of Monday 4 October 2021
Amr said (regarding the recent social media outage): It’s been 5 hours and we still don’t know anything. The world knows nothing. The statements made by these billion giant companies don’t tell you anything. Where’s transparency, where is knowledge?
Amr tried to confuse his viewers, as he couldn’t differentiate between the lack of transparency that is common among service providers in Egypt and the lack of knowledge with regard to the reasons for the interruption of services provided by the three largest social media applications in the world. The media professional tried, with no doubt and with no evidence; to assert that these companies know the reason but they do not want to announce it, in an attempt to use this crisis to justify the pervasive lack of transparency in Egypt, and this reflects Amr’s lack of commitment to the standards of accuracy and honesty stipulated in the media code of honor.
- The newsletter does not exclusively list all the topics, news and articles included in different media outlets, but it rather gives examples of them, in a way that contributes to shedding light on the most important topics and the degree of professionalism and respect for media codes of honor.