Egyptians in Need of More Responsible Media

Published: 14 August 2013

Country: Egypt

egypt third studyMedia coverage of the current situation in Egypt where security forces, “cleared the protest camps occupied by supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi”, shows a divide and a lack of responsible and inclusive reporting.

According to media experts and independent journalists from Egypt, interviewed by the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) team, right now Egyptian journalists need to make an effort towards more inclusive and balanced reporting so that all voices from all sides can be heard. They believe that the public needs to hear more calls for calming of the situation. ‘If there is anything we need now it is a  journalism which would bridge the gap between the supporters of former president Morsi and those who are in favour of the military’s actions’, says Doaa Kassem from MDI’s Cairo office.

MDI has been told that there is no accurate and objective reporting on the current events in Egypt. “All the media are taking sides, so they are either pro-Morsi or pro-army. There is no accurate information on the number of dead and wounded, there is no accurate information who is killing whom and where. There is no balance and there are not enough calls upon reason and moving towards a peaceful solution”, claims Doaa Kassem.

Hisham Kassem, an independent Egyptian journalist, says that pro-Morsi TV channels and other media outlets “are not broadcasting the news, but bias comments only”. “On the other side, there is a state-owned TV which supports the army and before that, it supported Morsi and before that, it supported Mubarak. State TV in Egypt supports whoever is in power so they and what they report become irrelevant”, says Kassem.

However, Hisham Kassem pointed out that he believes there is no incitement to violence in the reports on the military’s action against the pro-Morsi protest camps. “No one is cheering up for deaths”, said Hisham, adding that there are some moderate voices to be heard in Egyptian media. He says that new secular news organisations, as he describes them, are trying to appeal to reason. Their calls, Egyptian media experts think, are not enough though and there is a need for more inclusive and responsible coverage.

Journalist and media expert Yasser Abdel Aziz is critical of Western media and the way they report on the crisis, especially on the military operation against the supporters of former president Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood. “Egypt faces terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood. Unfortunately Western media ignore that and everything they are trying to say is that security forces are using the violence”, says Aziz.

MDI is hosting a debate on Egypt’s crisis and the role of the media on Friday 16th of August, at the Frontline Club in London. Guests and journalists will have an unique opportunity to hear the opinions of some prominent media experts who have just arrived from Egypt.

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