From: The Listening Post

Testing times for Egypt’s media

With pro-Muslim Brotherhood media outlets now forcibly silenced, the Egyptian media landscape looks distinctly lopsided.

Pressured by a popular uprising and deserted by the army, President Mohamed Morsi’s downfall on July 3 was announced in live broadcasts via the state-run Maspero media network, the mouthpiece of various political masters for decades.

Many of the private media outlets that celebrated Morsi’s ouster were once as critical of the army as they were of the elected president that Egypt’s generals have now ejected. And with pro-Muslim Brotherhood outlets now forcibly silenced, Egypt’s media landscape looks distinctly lopsided, albeit in lockstep with the country’s military-backed interim regime.

Another outlet that faced the pressure from Tahrir Square protests was Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr. Once praised for echoing the aspirations of the Arab Spring, its offices were raided immediately following Morsi’s ouster. Twenty-three of its journalists have resigned in response to the network’s perceived pro-Brotherhood bias.

This week, our News Divide explores the media aftermath of the Egyptian coup. We speak to Ashraf Khalil, the author of Liberation Square; Amira Salah-Ahmed, the deputy editor of Mada Masr; Ayman Gaballah, the managing director of Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr; Dr Abdel Moneim Said, the former chairman of Al-Ahram and current chairman of Al-Masry Al-Youm.

On our Newsbytes this week: Following the outcry over phone record seizures and search warrants, US attorney general Eric Holder is changing the rules on the surveillance of journalists; in Somalia, a draft press law has journalists pushing back against the government; and an emotional plea via Youtube from a Dutch journalist and her husband, kidnapped in Yemen and fearing for their lives.

Our weekly feature takes us as close as the media can get to the infamous military-run prison at Guantanamo Bay – a place where inmates are held not only in legal limbo, but also in media quarantine. The Listening Post’s Nic Muirhead examines how far the US government will go to keep Guantanamo invisible and its inmates faceless, even while journalists and campaigners fight to bring their stories to light.

We return to Tahrir Square for our Web Video of the Week which comes courtesy of satirical cartoonists Insanity Island. Unhappy with his assignment, PNN Cairo correspondent, Bob Bubbly, takes a predictably US-centric view of events in Egypt and ends up offending just about everybody. 


Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

Click here for more Listening Post.