- “Al-Dostor” website, one party/side…”Mobtada” & “Youm7”, publicity… “Masrawy”, distortion “taboo/prohibited news” (News websites)
- “Al-Akhbar” newspaper, incitement to capital punishment (death penalty)… “Al-Wafd”, promoting Hesba cases (Print media)
- “Akher Al-Nahar”, diminution of media discourse (Talk shows)
First: News websites
1- “Al-Dostor” website publishes on 7 December a news report that reads:
The government carries out 135 shutdowns, sealing, and utility meter locks of installations/facilities in New Cairo
Engineer Amin Ghoneim, Head of New Cairo City Development Authority, stated that the authority has carried out more than 135 shutdowns, sealing, and utility meter box removal of activities, shops and units/ installations at New Cairo, in new campaigns launched in several areas of the city. He stressed that there is no room for delaying the implementation of these decisions and confronting infractions and transgressions.
Engineer Amin Ghoneim explained that 35 decisions to close, wax/steal and remove electricity meters have been implemented in the “Choueifat” district (15 decisions to close and steal the law-breaking shops and units and 11 to remove electricity meter boxes)
* Many journalists who come across this news piece may find it free of errors, as the report monitors the work of an executive body while facing the transgressions of the city’s establishments. But the news story should involve more than one party, which is clearly absent in this report. The report addresses the state’s confrontation of irregularities and the closure of stores and withdrawal of electricity meters without mentioning how citizens subjected to such procedures may be affected, how these decisions may affect the course of their work, and why they committed these infractions from the government’s point of view. The piece lacks a lot of balance and fairness.
2- “Mobtada” new publishes on 8 December a news report that says:
On the International Anti-Corruption Day, the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) values what the state has implemented under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi by adopting a number of effective organizational procedures and measures to prevent and combat corruption and enhance the values of integrity and transparency.
In today’s statement, NCHR explained that the state’s actions stem from the Constitution, which stipulates the state’s commitment to combating corruption, and the President of the Republic’s launch of the first phase of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2014-2018, as well as the second phase 2019-2022 with the aim of reaching “a society that is aware of the dangers of corruption, rejects it and upholds the values of integrity.”
* The report quotes the government-affiliated Human Rights Council as praising the efforts of the government in the field of combating corruption. It’s worth mentioning that NCHR hasn’t yet started its work as the President hasn’t signed its proposed formation till the moment, and this means that some party or persons issued the statement in the name of the still- non-formed Council!
The report, however, didn’t refer to this point. So it is constitutes a problem if the journalist published this report while he is aware of this thing, and if he isn’t, he will be missing the priorities of journalistic work.
3- Sada Al-Balad website publishes a report on December 10 saying:
The Strategic Forum for Public Policies and Development Studies praised the accomplishments Egypt has achieved during the past few years in the field of upholding human rights and providing a decent life for its citizens, especially after the launch of the first National Strategy for Human Rights on 11 September 2021, which aims to promote social, economic, political and cultural rights, as well as the declaration of 2022 as the year of civil society and the abolition of the state of emergency.
The Forum has expressed its resentment and discontent with the continuous reports issued by “Human Rights Watch” on Egypt attacking the state, which the enemies of the country promote with the aim of creating a wedge between the people and the state’s institutions.”
* The site publishes a report on the “Strategic Forum for Public Policies and Development Studies”, which expresses its opinion on the human rights file in Egypt, and this is its right. But the Forum attacks other organizations and people it calls “enemies of the country”. It should have cited the opinion of such organizations which it profanely insults making the news story lose its fairness, not to mention that the website becomes a mouthpiece for the Forum.
is permissible to lose the news of fairness, just as the site becomes a trumpet for this forum, which does not need research and scrutiny to know its reference.
4- Al-Watan website publishes, on December 11, a news story that says:
The Ministry of Health calls on citizens to donate plasma: it treats serious diseases
The Ministry of Health and Population clarified, via its official page on the social networking website “Facebook” that plasma derivatives have many various uses in the treatment of many serious diseases, assuring to all citizens that donating plasma is safe and effective.
* The piece seems normal as the Ministry of Health talks about the benefits of donating plasma, an issue that has gone viral with the outbreak of the coronavirus given the benefits of plasma in treating the disease, but the journalist quoted the news as if he is a spokesman for the ministry!
The piece also is devoid of the principles of balance and objectivity, as the journalist didn’t bring or cite any specialized doctor or physician to comment on these benefits that the lengthy report talks about. The strangest thing is that a few days ago, the World Health Organization strongly recommended against the use of convalescent plasma in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
5- “Masrawy” publishes, on December 12, a news story that says:
“Talat. M” has filed a lawsuit against his wife before the Family Court in Heliopolis, in which he demanded the divorce of his wife because of the harm he suffered, justifying his request: “I married her while she weighed 70 kilos, and now she is 122 kilos. When I walk beside her, I feel that I’m walking beside my grandmother. She now wears 1960s-style fashion, and in the past, she was a beautiful modern girl. She has completely changed.”
“Talaat, 33, owner of a car rental showroom, said in his lawsuit No. 33 of 2021 that he met his wife through a close friend…
This piece is classified within the yellow press and may also fall within the crimes of journalistic defamation. The journalist first mentioned the name of the plaintiff and the first letter of his second name, and in the second paragraph he revealed other information about him when he said “Talaat,” 33 years old, owner of a car rental showroom”, which makes it easy for anyone residing in the same area recognize their identities. The woman who is defamed in this report can file a lawsuit on the news website and win it easily, as it constitutes a clear defamation crime.
Second: Print Media
1- “Al-Akhbar” newspaper, issue of 12 December, Page 7
Yasser Rezk incites capital punishment
At the end of his article, which occupied the newspaper’s entire seventh page, under the title “Responding to Fabrications”,
The writer, who is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of “Al-Akhbar” newspaper, indirectly addresses “the corruption scandal revealed by an audio leak reportedly of two presidential advisers”, saying “Why haven’t the final and irrefutable death sentences handed down against the enemies of the homeland from the MB group been executed till now?!
- The writer is tempted to the allegations that everyone who criticizes, attacks, or opposes the regime is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. This description is misleading and far from the truth. The opposition and critics are spread across all intellectual and political trends, not just the MB.
- The second important thing is: the writer’s incitement to the practice of capital punishment/ death penalty, which, asides from its contradiction with human rights, is handed down in many cases after unfair and unjust trials that lack due process.
2- “Al-Wafd” newspaper, issue of 13 December, Page 3
The report says: Dr. Samir Sabry, lawyer, submitted a report to Counselor Hamda El-Sawy, the Public Prosecutor, requesting a gag order to be imposed over the divorce of Sherine Abdel Wahab and Hossam Habib, on the basis of that over the previous 48 hours, many news has spread regarding the matter that many deem as prestigious historical incidents, according to the complaint.
In addition to the fact that this piece is considered a worthless news that falls within the yellow press, it is also a continuation of the violation of journalistic profession, and a promotion of Hesba (political and religious) cases, which are filed by people close to the state with the aim to either appease the authorities or to seek fame; through the prosecution of individuals, who don’t have any relation whatsoever with the plaintiff or cause any harm to him.
3- “Al-Akhbar” newspaper, issue of 13 December, page 3
A news report entitled “Cairo streets look fantastic”, saying
“The new cleaning system set by the state succeeded in getting the streets of Cairo to be in tiptop shape. The streets have changed and the piles of garbage have been removed,,,,,
This is misinformation and evasion of the truth, even if there are some improvements that took place in the streets of Cairo, we cannot generalize the case. Cairo is still teeming with bad streets and piles of rubbish in many of its districts, especially in popular neighborhoods.
Third: Talk shows
-“On My Responsibility”- Ahmed Mosa- episode of Tuesday- 7 December- From Minute 5
Mosa said: “Addressing human fields, the most important file that Europeans always talk about, especially the European Parliament, he (MP Muhammad Abu al-Enein) spoke with them about human rights in Egypt, about the accomplishments Egypt is achieving in this particular file, particularly the Egyptian Strategy which was launched by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi Last September, and how this strategy is being achieved on the ground. He explained to them and showed them videos. They watched a lot of videos in a long session convened yesterday at the house of Representative Muhammad Abu al-Enein in the presence of the European Parliament’s representatives and members who are guests of Egypt and of MP Abu al-Enein”.
Considering the fact that MP Muhammad Abu al-Enein is the owner of the TV channel on which this program is aired, some of our wonders may disappear, but the violation committed by the media anchorman employing the media platform to promote publicize the owner of the channel still remains clear before our eyes.
-“Paper and pen” TV Show – Nashaat Al-Daihi – Episode of Tuesday, December 7, from the 21st minute
Nashaat says: The Egyptian Initiative for Human Rights (EIPR), headed by Hossam Bahgat, issued a statement about Patrick George Zaki, researcher in gay community rights, as some newspapers reported. He was released today and his case was postponed to the first of February 2022 session. But what caught my attention is the widespread reaction and message of solidity that has been launched to the researcher abroad, particularly in Italy.
Nashaat didn’t comply with the principles of accuracy and honesty in the information he conveyed to his viewers during this segment of the episode. Patrick is a postgraduate student at the University of Bologna, Italy and a researcher in gender issues. But, Nashaat deliberately described him as a researcher in gay rights in order to inflame the anger of viewers against him given the societal rejection of the issue. He also neglected his role as a media professional in answering the questions he claimed he didn’t have an answer to. He should have, in fact. And if he really doesn’t have enough information, he should host someone who can answer these questions instead of spreading such agitation and obnoxious provocation that the Code of Professional Conduct for Media Performance forbids.
-“Akher Al-Nahar” program- Tamer Amin- episode of Tuesday 7 December, From minute 44
Tamer says: I previously presented the new developments regarding the medical and health situation in the world in the face of the emerging coronavirus pandemic, and also the new Omicron variant, or as one of my friends put it (it is not Omicron, it is the mother of coronavirus)- making fun of the term. It’s enough. We don’t need such silly jokes in this worrying situation.”
Tamer violated the Code of Professional Conduct for Media Performance (clause 13 therein), which stipulates for the adherence to the professional discourse in media discourse and dialogue. But Tamer, on the other hand, used offensive and inappropriate language and verbal profanities. It’s also inappropriate for a media professional to convey to his viewers the jokes he exchanges with his friends, as it is not a matter of concern whatsoever.
-“Akher Al-Nahar” program-Mohamed Al-Baz – Saturday 11 December episode
Al-Baz says: Egypt has many important issues and topics (other than this one), and with my great respect for “Sherine”, people are giving her great attention and concern. In fact, we need an explanation for this. Sherine has committed, during the past years, a crime or a dangerous thing- and I mean here in terms of social standards. We always look at celebrities as role models. Sherine had kept during the past 4 years showing love and infatuation for her husband, but when they broke up, she made it public and said (I had been sleeping on the sofa throughout the 4 years). Actually, they make a kind of dangerous distortion for social relations in our society. I’m speaking seriously.
Then he presented a social media post shared by a non-qualified person addressing personal details about Sherine’s life without providing evidence.
Al-Baz committed several professional violations, as he didn’t abide by the seventh article of the Media Honor Charter which stipulates not to violate the right to personal inviolability and privacy of family life, as well as to verify what is published on social media before it is broadcast. Moreover, people getting concerned about the news of celebrities, especially actors and actresses, is something normal and doesn’t need an explanation. In all countries of the world, celebrities are the focus of the public’s attention, and that’s why we have magazines, websites, and newspaper pages specialized in art and news of artists, stars, and actors, so the anchorman had to host a colleague specialized in art for this coverage.
-“Al-Hayat Al-Youm” program – Lubna Asal – Sunday, December 12 episode, from 43 minute
Lubna interviewed, via phone, Major General Ahmed Hisham, who said: I want to explain to you that Egypt has witnessed an unprecedented road network, which we have never seen before neither in the history of Egypt nor in the history of the world. The road network is of paramount importance, and what proves this is the Central Bank’s reserves, which in 2014 was 16 billion dollars but in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic, it reached 45.1 billion dollars. This indicates that the road network, which is part of a decent life for the Egyptian citizen, is of great importance.
The guest made a comparison between the road network in Egypt and road networks in the rest of the world, acknowledging that the Egyptian road network is unparalleled in the world. But the anchorwoman didn’t question the guest or clarify from him about the basis on which he made this comparison to verify the information he presented. She also didn’t question the relationship between developing road networks and the increase in the cash reserve, as her guest referred to. The anchorwoman didn’t try to differentiate between the opinion and the piece of news or information.
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.