* “Al-Manassa” website… exclusive press report and accuracy, “Al-Watan” & “Youm7″… just advantages, “Masrawy”… accusations without defense (News websites)
* “Al-Ahaly” newspaper objectivity and balance…. “Al-Shorouk”, whitewashing the Interior (Printed press)
* “Pen and Paper” program, absence of efficiency…. “Pen and Paper”, once again, criticizing untold statements (Talk shows)
First News Websites
1- “Al- Manassa” news website publishes, on 13 October, a press report that read:
“With names… Half of women appointed at the State Council are relatives of judges
The percentage of the appointment of judges’ daughters and sisters, transferred from the Administrative Prosecution and State Cases Authority to the State Council, amounted to 44% of the total number of the appointed women judges, as revealed by documents obtained by “Al- Manassa”.
The Presidential Decree No. 446 of 2021 appointing 98 female judges in the State Council includes the appointment of 48 female judges at the rank of “assistant Counsellor (B). The documents show that among the 48 judges, there are 19 who are daughters and sisters of judges and counselors. The decision also includes the appointment of 50 female judges at the rank of “deputy” in the State Council, “of them, there are 24 who are daughters of judges and advisors, with the total of 43 judges as judges’ relatives out of the 98 female judges who were appointed in the first place, with a percentage of nearly 44%.”
*”Al-Manassa” has exclusively published a documented and accurate report on the appointment of women judges to the State Council. The report deserves to be praised, as you may not find this topic published on dozens of Egyptian news websites. The value of the report here lies in the extent of its accuracy and documentation using numbers, data and names, so the information it provides cannot be questioned. Accuracy is indeed the most important basis for journalistic work. Also, the report quoted, in its end, an independent figure; Omnyah Jadallah, coordinator of the “The Platform is Her Right” initiative. But, it failed to cite a government official to comment on the issue of judges’ appointment to respond to the suspicions of nepotism and favoritism that the documents raised.
2- “Al-Dostor” website publishes on 16 October a news report that reads:
“Upon presidential directives to the Justice Ministry… The benefits of digital transformation to achieve prompt justice
The era of Counselor Omar Marwan, the Ministry of Justice witnessed remarkable activity in all its sectors, on top of which is the digital transformation system and the machinery that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi directed to achieve.
Over the past two years, the President held more than one meeting with Counselor Omar Marwa, Minister of Justice, and directed to focus efforts to develop and mechanize the litigation system, including the technical development of court headquarters and buildings nationwide, and to promote the use of the latest technological means and technologies in the court system, in order to expedite the procedures of litigation, facilitate process for citizens and achieve the highest levels of justice.
In this context, “Al-Dostor” monitors the achievements made within the framework of Egypt’s Digital Vision 2030, which the state seeks, (including the remote detention renewal of defendants)
* The report begins with a headline that bears a lot of journalistic interference that makes it lose its impartiality and objectivity. It is as if the journalist directs the audience to only read about the benefits of government policies and the achievements exerted by the Ministry of Justice and the judicial system. He could have let the government officials talk about their achievements, and they always do that, but he continued to praise the government on the pretext of monitoring “the achievements that have been made” and didn’t adhere to the principle of objectivity. Aside from that, the report strangely considered “the remote detention renewal of defendants” as an achievement, and this alone needs a comment from a legal expert to analyze this matter and explain it with impartiality and objectivity.
3- “Cairo24” website publishes a report on 17 October saying:
Sports Committee at the parliament: The Football Association displays favoritism in its decisions… Ahmed Megahed backed by FIFA
MP Mahmoud Hussein, head of the Youth and Sports Committee in the House of Representatives, said that the requests submitted to the parliament regarding the Football Association have been discussed in some of the federations, pointing out that there are 27 requests for briefings regarding multiple violations, some of which may amount to submitting complaints with the Prosecution.
The head of the Youth and Sports Committee explained that the Football Association displays favoritism while taking its decisions, pointing out that the final decision in this matter is based on the interest of the Egyptian Football Association. He noted that one of the unilateral decisions taken by Megahed is the decision to appoint the technical director who receives one million pounds per month although he has no clear job.
* This piece of news is completely devoid of the principle of balance and fairness, as the journalist quoted the head of the Youth and Sports Committee in Parliament as he pressed many accusations against the head of the tripartite committee that runs the Egyptian Football Association. He didn’t try to make any balance in his report or even mention that the head of the tripartite committee has the right to respond to such accusations, in violation of the principle of fairness, and thus it turns into a defamation segment against an absent person.
4- “Youm7” news website publishes on 16 October a news story that reads:
Learn about the advantages of the temporary licensing of informal economy projects in the new law
Law No. 152 of 2020 aims to issue a law for the development of medium, small and micro enterprises so as to integrate the informal sector into the official system of the state, through a package of facilitation and accessibility in this regard. In the meantime, it aims to facilitate and encourage young people to own small projects, and in turn provide more job opportunities. In the following lines, we introduce the procedures followed after obtaining a temporary license for projects to which the law applies.
* The news story begins with a headline that reads “Learn about the advantages of licensing…” and this is considered an advertisement and not a piece of news. The journalist here intervenes in the news story to make a judgment and say his point of view, and didn’t adhere to his job in objectively conveying abstract information. The piece of news here turns into propaganda report, and the journalist loses his impartiality and independence from the institution on which he based his information. His news story lacks balance from its outset, when he conveyed to readers only the advantages of the temporary licensing, although the main role of journalism is to warn about the disadvantages in the first place for the sake of reform, and of course there is no problem to mention the advantages as well.
5- “Al-Watan” website publishes on 17 October a news report saying:
“Learn about the advantages of the new Elderly Law
The House of Representatives is preparing to discuss the new bill introduced by the government on the rights of the elderly, as they are awaiting new legislation that supports their rights, especially those who have reached 65 years of age.
We meant to bring this report after the “Youm7” one, to make it clear to readers how similar the two reports are in terms of the press line they follow. The two websites used the same sentence “Learn about the advantages…!”, and this represents the vast majority of the mainstream media in Egypt.
The beginning of the report seems comical in a way that makes any well minded reader who has a little logic, when he reads the headline “Learn about the benefits of the Elderly Law” wonder “Aren’t there any flaws in this law for the journalist to say in his headline?”
By this way, the journalist asserts to the public that the new bill is full of benefits and advantages for the elderly, without citing an expert or neutral person to comment on it, so it is transformed to a means of promotion and publicity for the bill and not a news report. Principles of objectivity and fairness were totally absent in the report to the extent that you cannot even find a single parliamentarian who opposes the bill or says that it includes certain flaws that need to be changed.
6- “Masrawy” website publishes on 18 October a news report that says:
“Trial of Yehia Hussein Abdel Hadi on a charge of disseminating false news adjourned for 25 October
Nasr City Emergency Misdemeanors Court adjourned the first trial session of Engineer Yehia Hussein Abdel-Hadi pending Case 558 of 2021 for the hearing of October 25 for case documents. The Public Prosecution referred Hussein, a member of the Civil Democratic Movement, to trial in accordance with Articles 80d and 102bis/1, on charges of deliberately broadcasting false news and statements inside and outside the country through publications and articles he wrote in 2018.
* The journalist contented himself with reporting about the adjournment of Yehia Hussein Abdel-Hadi’s trial. His report is devoid of balance and fairness because he should have cited the defendant’s defenses or even said “The accused rejects these accusations”, but he didn’t do so. He also didn’t publish any information about the duration that the accused has spent in pretrial detention, which may be important information as well.
– Al-Ahaly newspaper, issue of 13 October 2021
Nagwa Ibrahim wrote an investigative report on the newspaper’s fifth page about the new school year, entitled “A new school year… renewed suffering and recurring problems”. The report is divided into three separate parts: The first part addresses the number of students in school classrooms as well as the shortage of teachers, especially in language schools. It also tackles the issue of the maintenance work that hasn’t been completed in many schools, and that hasn’t even been carried out in some others, in addition to depriving students of receiving books until after paying school fees. The second part of the report monitors some tragic scenes that occur at the beginning of the school year. The third and last part of the report deals with the ongoing problem between the Ministry of Education and private tutoring centers, and how these centers ignore the ministry’s successive warnings and continue to operate as if nothing had happened.
This is a comprehensive and balanced investigative report, which shed light on many problems related to the educational process that took place at the beginning of school year. It didn’t adopt the official scenario and narrative of the Ministry of Education, but resorted to other sources such as students’ parents, teachers and members of the teachers’ syndicate. It also monitored many specific and certain cases to give credibility and weight to the report, as well as a sense of professionalism and balance in addressing the issue.
– “Al-Shorouk” newspaper, issue of 17 October 2021
Mostafa Attia wrote on the newspaper’s second page a news story entitled “The Interior’s Human Rights Committees inspect police and service sites in the Cairo Security Directorate”. He stated that “the Human Rights committees aim to ensure respect for human rights and the preservation of human dignity, and the compliance of detention centers with technical, health and engineering specifications and requirements, in addition to the availability of adequate ventilation, good treatment of detainees, working to remove obstacles and shortcomings, and emphasizing the policemen maintaining balance between achieving security, respecting human rights and preserving human dignity.”
This news story coincides with the recent recurring complaints filed by the families of prisoners and the detainees about ill-treatment, preventing the entry of personal belongings and basic necessities for their relatives in prison, and preventing families from communicating with their detained relatives through written messages. Also, in recent period, a number of detainees in Zagazig Prison submitted a complaint to the judge presiding over their pretrial detention renewal about the daily torture and ill-treatment they are enduring in prison, this is in addition to the death of Suleiman al-Sayed al-Sharif at Minya al-Qamh police station in Sharkia governorate, a month after his detention. But the newspapers would not of course mention such news, but is satisfied with conveying only the official narrative of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior.
Third: Talk shows
* “Akher Al-Nahar” TV program, Tamer Amin, episode of Tuesday 12 October
Tamer says, commenting on the thunderstorm that hit some cities in Egypt: “Yesterday, without warning and without prior knowledge, we found it raining. I swear to God, in one of the thunders, I felt that the roof of the house fell. I looked at the roof and then found out that the sky was shattered by anger.”
Despite the fact that the Meteorological Authority issued, via its Facebook official page, a thunderstorm warning beforehand, Tamer claimed that there was no prior warning or knowledge of it, and this means that Tamer wasn’t accurate in the information he conveyed to the audience. Furthermore, he gave this weather phenomenon an unscientific explanation when he said: ” The sky was shattered by anger,” an interpretation that spreads the myth which the Code of Professional Conduct for Media Performance in its eleventh article stipulates to refrain from.
* “Pen and Paper”, Nashat El-Dihi, episode of Wednesday 13 October
“If you have in Egypt, for example, 10 cement and iron factories, they will make carbon emissions of 100 gigabytes”. Then he moved on speaking to the program’s producer through the earpiece: “Not like that, my son.” He continued: “We have forests, soil, seas and oceans that absorb the 100 gigabytes. Its emission will be absorbed. If the emissions are equal to the absorptions, we have reached what is called carbon neutrality”. He went on speaking to the program’s producer “One by one, Ibrahim.”
The Media Honor Code stipulates, in Clause No. 16, that specialization and competence should be taken into account, but Nashat, while dealing with the climate change crisis with its scientific details that required hosting a specialist (climatologist), confined himself to repeating the information dictated by the program’s producer that is based on anonymous sources about carbon emissions, using a poor style that lacked rigorous academic study. So, he seemed in this part like a father who is trying to simplify the elementary science curriculum for his son.
* “Al-Hekayah” TV program, Amr Adib, episode of Saturday 16 October
Amr says: If we are arguing about the topic of porn websites and so on, this is the normal context of life, but what is being promoted now is an unnatural context.
During his response to his guest Dr. Said Sadiq, Professor of Political Sociology, who told him that Egypt ranks second in the world in terms of visiting online porn websites and in experiencing sexual harassment, Amr tried to portray to viewers that watching pornographic films comes in the natural context of life. He gives a justification for those who are used to watch these films to continue and persist in watching them, and this contradicts the values, morals and norms of society, stipulated in the Code of Professional Conduct for Media Performance.
* “On My Responsibility” TV program, Ahmed Mosa, episode of Saturday 16 October
Mosa said: The pension issue has taken a large part of the president’s speech today. He has been talking about this issue for many years. At the end, we pay a certain amount of money every year, 150 billion, and the prime minister is talking about 180 billion pounds this year, and therefore he said, “No one shall be afraid for his money. Your money is there, but who is paying it today? It is the state.”
During this episode, Ahmed Mosa claimed that the money that the persons who reach pensionable age receive when they retire is paid by the state, despite the fact that these dues were previously deducted from their salaries over the years of their service. Ignoring such a thing, Mosa tried to mislead his viewers and didn’t comply with the principles of accuracy or integrity of the information he broadcasted.
* “Pen and Paper”, Nashat El-Dihi, episode of Monday 18 October
Al-Dihi said, “Abo Trika has come under fire; he was commenting on yesterday’s match and one of the fans had a heart attack, and suddenly we saw a MB-related behavior that had nothing to do with morals or humanity, when he stood up- while on air- and said (I withdrew because we are practicing human trafficking and I don’t accept to be in a place where some kind of humanitarian offenses is taking place).
Al-Dihi didn’t comply with the principles of accuracy or honesty in conveying information to his viewers, because he claimed that Abo Trika said “we are practicing human trafficking and I don’t accept to be in a place where some kind of humanitarian offenses is taking place” and this is completely untrue as he didn’t say so. Al-Dihi still tends to stir up hated excitement, incitement and hollow quarrels, not to mention his weak language in formulating the wording of the topic broadcasted in his program.
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.