From the Arab Spring to the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and their eventual overthrow, the media in Egypt was rife with conflict and controversy. Not so the presidential election that returned Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as Egypt’s new president on June 3.
During the campaign, media outlets - both state-run and private - kept up a consistent fanfare in support of the former Field Marshal. Some journalists and commentators threw impartiality to the wind - a wind of change that has seemingly turned back the clock to the days before the first protests rocked Tahrir Square in 2011.
Critical voices appear to have been marginalised by audiences devoted to the new president - or perhaps more to the idea of him as saviour of the nation. The messaging from the Muslim Brotherhood is now largely confined to social media, which the Egyptian government now has major plans to monitor for signs of dissent.
Helping us to map the Egyptian media landscape this week are: Hosny Emam, head of the London branch of the Foreign Press Agency; Sahar Khamis, professor of Journalism, Maryland University; freelance journalist Khaled Diab; and media scholar, Adel Iskandar.
Our feature explores the western media’s fascination with North Korea and the sometimes surreal stories that slip past the bamboo curtain and into the mainstream. Was Kim Jong Un’s uncle fed to a pack of hungry dogs? Are North Korean men forced to emulate their illustrious leader’s haircut? Such stories betray an excess of fantasy and a shortfall of fact.
The Listening Post’s Meenakshi Ravi takes a closer look.
In other media news this week: the US supreme court declines to come to the rescue of NYT journalist James Risen in his battle to keep his sources secret; journalists are roughed up in Turkey for the anniversary of the Gezi Park protests; Thai police pose as journalists to make arrests; and a Singapore blogger successfully crowdfunds his legal battle against the prime minister.
Finally, it has been a year since Edward Snowden blew the lid off the NSA’s mass surveillance programs but do you really know how it feels to be spied on? YouTube trickster Jack Vale spooked a few of his friends by hacking into their webcams and we have made his ‘NSA Webcam Spying Prank’ our Web Video of the Week. Luckily, they saw the funny side but if the government was watching you now, how amused would you be?
Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.
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