MDI Awards and Fourth Study on Egyptian Media

Date: 26 june 2013

Country: Egypt

egypt mdi awards. 2JPGThe Media Diversity Institute (MDI) launched its fourth and for now final study on how inclusive and diverse Egyptian media content is both in print and broadcast media.

Apart from launching its fourth report, the Media Diversity Institute has also awarded journalists who wrote the best articles on diversity. Today in Cairo, the journalists were awarded with Inclusive Journalists Rewards while the representatives of civil society organizations were given Media Campaigns Rewards.The past three reports covered the time periods of the Parliamentary elections of November 2011, the Presidential elections of May and June 2012 and the constitutional referendum of December 2012.

While in the past three reports, MDI team led by Dr Rasha Abdulla from the American University in Cairo looked at stories related to the particular major event in question, in this report, MDI team took a general look at media coverage of everyday events. That means that each and every selected story in the newspapers and television programs were analysed.

The conclusion of the MDI’s fourth report is that all diversity groups/issues in Egypt are severely under-represented by the media, both in terms of the people featured and the issues discussed. With the exception of geographical diversity, which has shown considerable improvement in all reports, diversity suffers when it comes to gender representation, as well as the representation of ethnic minority groups, religious minority groups, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

egypt mdi awardsAnnouncing the launch of MDI’s fourth report on diversity in Egyptian media,  Hala Morgan MDI Programme Director said that the Media Diversity Institute is in the process of issuing a Manual on Reporting on Diversity in the near future.

Khaled El Balshy, Head og Legislative Committee Press Syndicate, a member of a jury for the MDI Inclusive Journalism Award, highlighted diversity as a door to overcome the obstacles to press. “Diversity enriches many subjects”, said El Balshy distributing awards to the print journalists in Egypt.

On of the mentors, Abeer Saady, said that “Egyptian society is diverse in its nature so the Egyptian press can not be separated from the society”.


Journalists awarded with MDI Inclusive Journalism Award are:

  • Hesham Elesawy
  • Ebrahim AlShazly
  • Walaa Waheed
  • Samah Abd Elati
  • Mohsen Abdelrady
  • Ebrahim Alagmy


Apart from the awards for the best articles on diversity, the Media Diversity Institute presented the awards for 8 Media Campaigns conducted by the civil organizations in Egypt. The best media campaigns were selected by Mr. Nick Carter , media and communications consultant, and Ms. Maie Shawky, media capacity consultant.

The best CSOs Media Campaigns are:

  • Al Mandara Media foundation, Giza – “Against early marriages”
  • Rasael Alghad foundation, Tanta – “Recycling”
  • Alhorreya Centre for Creative arts, Alexandria – “Dialogue between cultures”
  • Badr Al Tawayel foundation, Sohag – “Raise awareness of arms risk”
  • Eve Future foundation, Menia – “Against domestic violence”
  • Shabab Al Sharkeya,  Sharkeya – “Combat child labor”
  • Life Association, Dumyat – “Youth accessing to Municipalities”
  • New Woman foundation, Cairo – “Women’s rights


All four reports showed a severe under-representation of all minority groups in society.

In the final report, females constituted only 7.81% of the total number of the individuals interviewed for the stories in five newspapers. This has been an ongoing trend in all reports, since the representation of women in our previous three reports constituted 6.8%, 6.5%, and 4.2% respectively.

egypt fourth report gender graphicsOther minority voices were almost non-existent in the newspaper coverage.

As with previous reports, media representation in this monitoring period was quite disappointing for ethnic minorities as well as other important sectors of the society such as persons with disabilities, children, and the elderly.

Only 8 people of different ethnic origins such as Bedouins or Nubians were identified within the 47,619 individuals featured in the stories.

There were also a total of only 4 people identified as persons with disabilities, only 5 identified as elderly in stories discussing their issues, and 208 children.

These figures are quite alarming, particularly given the actual percentages of these groups of people in the Egyptian society, concludes the MDI report.

As for the television programs and talk shows, MDI monitoring team has noticed the phenomenon of the talk show “stars,” observed in all four reports.

These are repeated guests on the evening talk shows, who are frequently featured on these popular shows. Egypt is a nation of 90 million people, 83 million of which live in Egypt. Given the rich diversity of the population, it is unfortunate that most of these popular shows limit themselves to a narrow pool of guests that producers and presenters are familiar with, thereby depriving the audience from the chance to listen to a more diverse spectrum of opinions.

The fourth MDI study can be downloaded in English here:

MDI Final Report on Media in Egypt.pdf

The fourth MDI study can be downloaded in Arabic here:

MDI Final Report on Media in Egypt (Arabic).pdf