Media @ McGill

Conflicting Accounts: State-run vs. Private Media in Egypt

Submitted by hive on
English

Egypt's fight for democracy has seen an almost year-long revolution that has gone full circle from the Tahrir Square protests and the triumphant ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak to renewed calls for a million man march and violent clashes between civilians and the ruling military council.

During this time, two widely differing accounts have resonated from the state-controlled media and the privately-owned networks and newspapers. While state-run television broadcasts footage of protesters throwing Molotov cocktails and attributes the violence on Egypt's streets to foreign entities, independent papers, such as Al-Tahrir, print front-page images of protesters being beaten by police under the heading, "Liars". 

The clear dichotomy that exists within the Egyptian media was evident during Mubarak's dictatorship as well. Yet, some now argue that the situation has worsened and there is strong evidence to support such a theory. In recent weeks, Egyptian bloggers have been arrested, soldiers have shut down a live news broadcast on satellite television, and the producer of Al-Jazeera English, Evan Hill, has been detained and subjected to physical abuse. A picture is gradually forming of a regime bent on altering reality or, barring that, stifling freedom of expression by bearing down on those practicing it through privately-owned, foreign, or new media outlets.

Learn more about the media fallout resulting from the Egyptian revolution in David D. Kirkpatrick's New York Times article,"As Violence Continues, Egyptian General Blames Protesters" and on Al Jazeera's Listening Post: Egypt: Revolution Revisited and Egypt's Elections: A new era for the media?.