- “Mobtada”, misinformation…”Sada Al-Bald”, propaganda…”Mada Masr” exposes the blackout of “Cairo24″…”Youm7”, a yellow press (News websites)
- “Sada El-Bald” fragmentation of truth…. “Akher Al-Nahar”, misleading and false news (Talk shows)
- “Al-Akhbar”, propaganda… “Al-Wafd”, promoting Hesba cases (Print media)
First: News websites
1- “Mobtada” published on December 17 a piece of news that reads:
Next Tuesday, December 21, the competent criminal court will be considering the first trial sessions of businessman Hassan Ratib, Alaa Hassanein and others in the ” Antiquity Smuggling” case, days after the decision to refer the 23 accused gang members, all of whom are in prison, except for two fugitives, to trial.
Through investigations, it was found that defendant Hassan Rateb had committed the crime of financing (the gang to illegally excavate antiquates) by colluding with MP Alaa Hassanein to finance the illegal excavation of antiquities by paying 50 million pounds for excavation expenses.
* This report may fall within the framework of the crime of journalistic distortion/misinformation, as the journalist enumerates the accusations leveled against the defendants as if they were facts; as the court hasn’t yet issued a final verdict of conviction. He completely neglected the legal and journalistic rule that says “the accused is innocent until proven guilty.”
The report completely lacked balance and fairness. It didn’t mention a single word about the defendants’ defense and whether they denied these charges or not. The report’s editor turned into a judge who made his judgement before the court itself.
2- “Sada Al-Balad” website publishes a report on December 17:
Saafan: The new draft labor law puts the Egyptian state in its proper position.. Appointing 10,701 young people in 7 governorates… Collecting 2.7 million pounds as Egyptian employment benefits in Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
This week’s harvest in the Ministry of Manpower witnessed many important incidents during the period from December 10 to 16, including the Minister of Manpower participating in the Senate’s Energy and Manpower Committee. He announced that the new labor bill puts the Egyptian state in its proper position among the countries of the world, adding that 10,701 young men have been appointed in 7 governorates, 229 of whom are from the “differently-abled” people…
* In this report, the journalist cited the minister’s activity to show only one aspect, the achievements of the Ministry of Manpower. Any minister has the right to praise his work, but this report turned the website into a means of propaganda, not information. There is another important point in this piece of news, which is that journalist mentioned “the appointment of 10701 young people in 7 governorates” without comparing it to the number of unemployed youth in these governorates so that readers can be informed of the percentage of those who have been appointed out of those who are in need of employment, otherwise the government figures released will be just a promotion of efforts that are not comparable to the required extent.
3- On December 20, “Youm7” publishes “something” that reads:
A wife is looking for a bride for her husband, affirming: He has the right to spoil himself (Video)
A case of controversy has aroused after “Thuwaiba” posted a picture of her husband on social media platforms announcing that she is looking for a second wife for him. In her interview with Youm7 TV, Thuwaiba said that she believes in the saying “the heart of a woman is like a mango with one seed while a man’s heart is like a watermelon with a lot of seeds.”
* This thing, which cannot be called a news report, falls within the yellow press, which searches for what is trivial to convey to readers just for excitement purposes. The website interviewed this simple in order to extract from her some inflammatory statements regarding the issue of polygamy, which is indeed a very controversial issue, just for the sake of escalating interaction rates for the website, which undermines the goals of journalism in raising awareness and disseminating information, by limiting it to nonsense and hollow excitation.”
4- Different coverage of the same news story:
Mada Masr publishes a story on December 19:
“Blatant and unjustified interference”… Egypt’s Foreign Ministry rejects Germany’s demand to release Abdel-Fattah, Al-Baqer and “Oxygen”
Yesterday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry accused the German government of blatant and unjustified interference in the Egyptian internal affairs and of “judging a judicial track without evidence or objective support”, in response to a German demand for the release of activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah, blogger Mohamed Ibrahim, aka “Oxygen”, and lawyer Muhammad Al-Baqer.
Last Thursday, the German Foreign Ministry demanded the release of the three activists, two days before their sentencing in Case 1228 of 2021. It is stated in the German statement that the federal government’s view is that freedom of expression is the basis for social peace, the participation of all social circles, and sustainable stability. Germany had also indicated its hope that Egypt would work to achieve a fair trial, and that the verdict in the activists’ case would be an indication of the direction in which the human rights situation in Egypt is developing.
“Cairo24” published the same piece on the same day, saying:
Human Rights Committee in the Parliament: Germany’s statements regarding the trial of the accused constitute blatant and unacceptable interference in Egyptian affairs
Tarek Radwan, head of the Human Rights Committee in the House of Representatives, said that the recent statements issued by the government of Germany regarding the trial of a number of defendants before the Egyptian judiciary are considered blatant and unacceptable interference in Egyptian affairs.
The German Foreign Ministry had issued statements regarding the expected verdict hearing for a number of defendants before the Egyptian judiciary, which is set on next Monday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement confirming its rejection of the German government’s remarks regarding the upcoming trial session for a number of defendants before the Egyptian judiciary.
* Mada Masr website published all the details of the news story from all its sides. It cited the Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s statement rejecting Germany’s interference in the Egyptian judiciary, then it mentioned the German Foreign Ministry’s demand and detailed information on the case, with the names of the accused and the charges leveled against them.
* On the other hand, “Cairo 24” website didn’t publish anything about the statement of the German Foreign Ministry or who the accused are, or the nature of the charges pressed against them. Like most Egyptian websites, it makes the news story incomplete which let the public wonder: What did the German Foreign Ministry say to be attacked by the Egyptian side in this way, and how was its intervention blatant?
Unfortunately, you won’t find an answer to such questions in this bogus kind of journalism.
-“Al-Manassa” website published a news story, on 19 December, saying
A parliamentary question about the fate of the Ministry of Health
MP Freddy El-Bayadi, member of the House of Representatives from the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, asked Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly about the absence of Health Minister Dr. Hala Zayed from her post.
In a press statement, today, Sunday, Al-Bayadi asked, “How long will the absence of the Minister of Health from her position continue? And how long will this important position continue to be devoid of a full-time minister? What have the investigations reached regarding the incidents raised in the Ministry? And when will these investigations end?”
With some research, you may not find this piece of news published on most Egyptian websites, although it cites a statement by one of the Egyptian parliamentarians, which raises the question: Is it forbidden to talk about the absence of the Minister of Health?!
This piece of news, which seems ordinary, turns out to be an exclusive report for “Al-Manassa” website, because the case of the Minister of Health and her absence for more than two months without any information is not circulated in any form in the mainstream media, which raises the questions of the parliamentarian. This piece indeed sheds light on the idea of the absence of information from the press. It can also be considered as a news item that is prohibited from publishing without having a gag order or any judicial decision to do so.
Second: Talk shows
- On My Responsibility Program – Ahmed Mosa – Episode of Tuesday, December 14, from the 5th minute
Mosa says: I must salute the parliament. Today, the parliament, the entire parliament, dropped the government’s viewpoint. The Finance Minister came up with a statement and 10 days later we find a bill that imposes new burdens on citizens. We actually have a problem with statements and a problem with laws. There are laws that impose burdens on people and they are passed by the Parliament. But today, and frankly speaking, the Parliament confronted and aborted the government’s plan to impose burdens on the people. Many thanks to the Parliament today as it conveys a message that its members are caring for the Egyptian citizen, contrary to what this law impose. The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Mohamed Abou El Enein and a large number of deputies spoke about this.
What Mosa said is a clear lie. The Parliament didn’t reject the draft law submitted by the government, nor does the law add new burdens on the citizen. Rather, it included amendments to some of the procedures followed in implementing the Value-Added Law to avoid the problems that faced its implementation in practice since its adoption in 2016, in addition to exempting some sectors from the aforementioned tax. The session eventually resulted in the approval of the bill, unlike what Mosa claimed. We don’t find an explanation for Mosa’s lack of truthfulness and accuracy in this segment of the episode, but it is an attempt by him to polish the Parliament which is headed by the owner of the channel he works for.
- “Akher Al-Nahar”- Mohamed Al-Baz-episode of Sunday 19 December, from 36 minutes and 57 seconds
Al-Baz says: You have internal conditions. You have people accused in certain cases. These people are being tried before the very normal/natural Egyptian judiciary and they take their time in the trials. They specifically mean the case in which Alaa Abdel-Fattah and his lawyer, Muhammad Al-Baqer and Muhammad Ibrahim, are being tried. And like any other normal cases, you have supporters to the defendants and it’s normal that they come up and say that the accusations leveled against them are false and that they are being prosecuted for something they didn’t commit. This is normal. Do we find anyone who is accused acknowledge that he is accused?
Al-Baz didn’t adhere to honesty or integrity as he deliberately misled the viewer during this episode. The three defendants in this case are being tried before the Emergency State Security Court and before the very natural judiciary as Al-Baz claimed. Also, their trials didn’t take their time, as he alleged, and the defendants didn’t obtain their natural right to defend themselves. According to the defendants’ lawyers and the family of Alaa Abdel-Fattah, the defense team wasn’t given the right to have a copy of the case file to study it, nor were they able to provide their defense or make their pleadings. So the case was set for adjudication without fulfilling all these rights. If Al-Baz really seeks truth and transparency, as he always claims, he should have adhered to objectivity and presented the defense’s point of view in this case in order to achieve objectivity and balance in the presentation of the story.
- A Last Word Program – Lamis Al Hadidi – Sunday episode, December 19th, from the 18th minute
Being interviewed via phone, the Governor of Alexandria says: The state provides us with what we want. The university and the Faculty of Engineering prepared a wonderful study since 2015, and it was updated 2019. This study is with us and is subject of consideration now. The sewage repair in Alexandria will be carried out in a series of stages. We are working on a good, long-term and urgent plan which we have been working on over the past months or two years. We have already fixed a lot of things. But we are talking about rainwater above the ground. No one can imagine what we are doing underground to absorb this water. We need pumps for billions of pounds. People are not aware of the things that are underground.
Lamis: I know that you are working very hard, but I hope that we will eliminate this problem. Thank you General Muhammad Al-Sharif.
In this part of the episode, Lamis violated the principles of objectivity, balance and the presentation of the other opinion. She enabled the governor of Alexandria to justify the very clear failure in dealing with the annual crisis that the governorate is witnessing due to the heavy rain and the weather fluctuations that are always predicted beforehand. The governor’s responses were very provocative, either because of the 6 year-long plan which hasn’t yet begun to be implemented although the state has provided all the necessary resources, as he acknowledged or because of his justification of the problem saying that it needs billions of pounds contradicting himself. On her part, however, Lamis got satisfied with his response and confined herself to saying “We know that you are working with great effort”.
– “Al-Hayat Al-Youm” program – Lobna Asal – Sunday episode, December 19, from the 17th minute
Lobna hosted via phone lawyer Essam Shiha, President of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. who said: “Let me tell you that we in Egypt are improving the human rights situation with a noticeable improvement, and this is reflected in: a strategy to abolish the state of emergency, in the National Council for Human Rights, and in the appointment of women to the judiciary and the State Council, in the swift trial, and in the demolishing of 12 prison headquarters.. The state has had the political will to improve the human rights situation in Egypt. It is making a revolution and a qualitative leap in the field of human rights. So it is normal that, when restoring the country’s regional role and practicing moderate policies. it refuses any interference in the internal affairs.
Lobna didn’t comment on her guest’s remarks commenting on one of freedom of expression cases in which 3 activists are being tried before the exceptional Emergency State Security Court on charges of spreading false news. And in spite of the exceptionality of the trial and the defendants exceeding the legal pretrial detention period, not to mention the suffering their family had endured while visiting them during the last period and the very long visitation ban imposed on one of them, Lobna’s guest didn’t find anything wrong in praising the human rights situation in Egypt, speaking about the abolition of the state of emergency, the swiftness of trials, and the strategy which proves that its actual implementation on the ground is merely made for media propaganda only. The anchorwoman also took part in this misinformation practiced by the guest; for she kept silent towards these false remarks and didn’t adhere to honesty, objectivity and principles of balance and presentation of the other opinion.
Third Print Media
* “Al-Akhbar” newspaper, issue of Wednesday, December 15, page five:
A news piece reads: “Abdul Ghaffar: The budget for higher education has increased 10 times in 4 years.”
Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education, stressed on the political leadership’s interest in the education file placing it on the state’s priority list. He noted that the budget allocated to developing education had doubled ten times in nearly 4 years.
The piece ignored the repeated criticism made by specialists and civil society representatives- including the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights- that the percentage of spending on education (school and university) even reached half the rate established in the Constitution as a minimum, which amounted to about 2.42% of GDP, according to the expected figures in The new fiscal year 2021-2022, comparing to the constitutionally established percentage of 6% as a minimum, which includes 4% for pre-university education and 2% for university education.
* “Al-Wafd” newspaper, Issue of Sunday December 19, front page
“Al-Wafd” newspaper continues to promote the Hesba cases and their plaintiffs as it published a story on is front page saying:
“Offending the state and the people at a party in Iraq, a complaint demanding to bring Muhammad Ramadan to trial….
Lawyer Samir Sabry filed a report with the Public Prosecutor and the State Security Prosecution against Muhammad Ramadan, demanding to place him in the lists of those banned from leaving the country, against the backdrop of holding a party in Iraq in which he seriously offended the Egyptian state and people.
The report said that: while President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is striving hard and continues to work day and night inside or outside the Egyptian territory in order to restore Egypt’s genuine status, which had been destroyed in previous years, whether from the scientific, historical, literary, humanitarian or artistic aspects, and is working hard to honor the Egyptian citizen, globally and locally, a group of mercenaries and unemployed people appear on the singing scene in order to pollute it and promote obscenity, bullying, drugs and sexual harassment, in addition to many crimes in blunt and frank words, the so-called Muhammad Ramadan performed a concert in Baghdad, where he seriously offended the Egyptian state and the entire people of Egypt. This “thing”- in reference to Muhammad Ramadan- still insists on taking off his clothes at the party…
Al-Wafd continues to promote political Hesba cases. The same lawyer, who is known to be hostile to freedom of expression and to prosecute anyone who disagrees with him on a legal basis without having a personal interest or direct harm from him, filed another Hesba case, in an attempt to get closer to the regime on the one hand and to gain fame on the other hand, which Al-Wafd newspaper achieved for him by this report.
* Al-Ahram newspaper, issue of Sunday, December 19, front page
Registration for the fourth edition of the World Youth Forum closed, more than 500,000 new young people registered from 196 countries
The piece reads:
The management of the World Youth Forum announced the closure of registration to attend and participate in the fourth edition of the forum, which will be held under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during the period from January 10 to 13, 2022.
The management of the World Youth Forum stated that more than 500,000 new participants from 196 countries have registered.
Not only does the piece, which is repeated in the newspapers (Al-Akhbar, Al-Masry Al-Youm, Al-Shorouk, Al-Wafd), shed light on the “Samsung device” media (referring to media workers receiving orders from the government via teleprompter/Autocueas part of its security dictates) which is common in most newspapers in Egypt,. but it also ignores an important aspect, which is that the large number of applicants- if they are really true- may constitute a mere demand for a free trip and luxury accommodation at the expense of the Egyptian state and not a real interest in what is going on in these conferences, which has not appeared to have an effect or benefits so far, although it has been organized for several years.
* “Al-Wafd” newspaper, issue of Monday 20 December, front page
An article by Wagdi Zine El Abidine, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief… He conveys in his article a long story that he quoted from Al-Ahram, which is a kind of propaganda and commendation of projects that he didn’t make any effort to investigate their validity, not even as an ordinary journalist, but as an editor-in-chief!
The editor-in-chief of the largest opposition party forgot that the public expects an opinion from him, whatever it is, and not fill a space available to him to convey news, just a piece of news, on which he builds his propaganda and praise-filled position without discussion, research or scrutiny.
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.