Egypt's Thursday Papers: Black media, beards and commandments

News article, posted 07.05.2012, from Egypt, in:
Noha El-Hennawy
Egypt's Thursday Papers: Black media, beards and commandments (Photo: Al-Masry Al-Youm)

The Muslim Brotherhood’s mouthpiece paper continues its war against privately-owned newspapers and TV channels with a two-page exposé Thursday labeling them “black media.” Freedom and Justice mentions almost every satellite television channel available in Egypt, including Dream TV, ONTV, Al-Hayat and CBC, highlighting the ties of their respective owners with the old regime and accusing them of seeking to thwart the revolution and spreading rumors about Islamists.  

“These channels and newspapers present some hosts and journalists who belonged to the disbanded National Democratic Party in a new shape in order to pave the way for the reproduction of the old regime,” reads the paper. “[These media] stress the disadvantages of the revolution and black out its achievements by distorting the image of elected institutions,” continued the report in reference to the dissolved Parliament and the presidency.

The paper quotes Islamist writer Ragheb al-Sergany urging the president to issue legislation that would “criminalize lies and the spreading of rumors through the media.” He also says reforming the industry will be President Mohamed Morsy's biggest challenge.

In contrast, the paper also proposes the category of “the white media,” which encompasses outlets that “seek to complete the goals of the revolution, endorse the [Muslim Brotherhood’s] Renaissance Project and fight corruption.” 

The report hails privately owned Youm7 newspaper for having confirmed reports that Morsy won the election before the final results were announced.

“Some newspapers are trying to put themselves on the right track. Some newspapers have already changed their leanings, performance and language,” writes Freedom and Justice.

Egypt Independent sister paper Al-Masry Al-Youm is also one of the publications hailed in this report for changing its editorial policy after the resignation of Editor-in-Chief Magdi el-Gallad. Freedom and Justice also contends that state-owned media has begun adopting some corrective measures.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s position on the media is drawing much attention this week in light of ongoing editor elections for the state-owned newspapers.  These elections are regulated by the Shura Council once controlled by the NDP and now dominated by the Brotherhood. Many journalists have protested council oversight, contending that it allows Egypt's rulers to use state papers as mouthpieces.


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