by Atef Hassan
This is something I wrote during the 2011 revolution. I never had the chance to finish it, so I will just post as it is!
The national TV stations first ignored the event and said hundreds of people demonstrated, while they were millions across the country. Then it started spreading rumors on mass rubbery and thugs raping and threatening people’s lives and properties. It was defiantly execrating. Some say this is was a bid from the regime to force protesters go back home to protect their families and properties as well as a message to the other people that demonstrations lead to instability.
Until most recently, all state-owned land and satellite channels went live under one broadcasting (not sure about the term: the same broadcasting in all channels), delivering the same message.
Egypt’s TV was also trying to scare people and asked them to go back home to protect their families and properties. That is in best cases was an execration.
Anti Mubark protesters were accused of taking money bucket and of being served by free KFC meals! They said this is an evidence of foreign conspiracies against national security.
On 2 Feb, a young lady claimed she received training for weeks in the US and Qatar on how to destabilize the regime. More here: http://ipsnews.net/text/news.asp?idnews=54346
After two days, the young woman turned out to be a journalist working for a weekly newspaper close to the regime and she admitted that her story was faked in coordination with the talk show staff (@Al-Mehwar TV)
One famous radio producer, Hala Fahmy, claimed that the Minister of Information has hired thugs to attach anti Mubark protesters. He has also forced TV employees to chant supporting Mubark.
Mahmoud Saad, a popular TV producer, was banned from his daily evening show when he tried to mention the demonstrations in Tahrir!
On 4 February, Shahira Amin, a senior correspondent for Nile TV quit her job to protest the way its stat-owned channel has been covering the events.
Winner in my opinion is Al Arabia TV. Al-Jazira was a little bit biased against Mubark (as usual). It used to even announce locations and timing of demonstrations. Some of its news turned out to be untrue. Al Arabia was much balanced and has surprised everyone with balanced and continues coverage of events. Pro Mubark said they were also surprised that such a “Saudi-funded” TV station acts “aggressively” against the regime. That was only professionalism in my opinion and that was their big chance to win more fans.
In general, Arab and international channels were accused by pro-Mubark of spreading rumors and telling lies. That is partly due to lack of information.
Protesters had signs saying: ”Exclusive lies on the Egyptian TV”.
Even there are groups on Facebook protesting the TV performance, some were created by TV employees themselves.
A very good Arabic article about the performance of the Egyptian state-owned channels
Below are selected English articles about the Egyptian media coverage, mostly from Almasry alyoum.
27 jan: Thursday’s papers: Investors panic as riots continue
Thousands protest in front of Maspiro
Tahrir media wars: State TV gives ground before Al Jazeera-led rivals
Head of Al Jazeera Cairo bureau arrested
Egyptian army starts rounding up journalists
Al Jazeera says 6 reporters arrested in Egypt
Prominent media figure resigns from state TV talk show
Egyptian Al Ahram Journalists Protest Coverage of Uprising
http://www.betweenlinesblog.com/2011/02/egyptian-al-ahram-journalists-protest.html Egypt’s state-run media starting to shift from pro-Mubarak coverage
Activists say Arab media blind to protests