A journalist and the editor-in-chief of a magazine run by the state-owned Akhbar Al-Youm news organisation were referred to a criminal court on Saturday for publishing and writing an article containing "obscene sexual content." (Aswat Masriya)
For the first episode of the Arab Media & Society Podcast, Managing Editor Sarah El-Shaarawi speaks with Hafez Al Mirazi, a veteran of Arab and international broadcasting and Director of the Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism at the American University in Cairo about why reforming Egyptian national broadcasting is essential to its survival.
Al-Nahar TV Network announced Friday the suspension of Sabaya al-Kheir TV program hosted by controversial anchorwoman Riham Saeed, who resigned amid public outrage against her for airing personal photos of a guest on her show without her permission. Last Tuesday, Saeed hosted Somaya Tarek, who claims to have been harassed by a man in a Heliopolis mall. On her show, Saeed appeared to defend the man and blame the woman, implying that Tarek "had brought it on herself." (Aswat Masriya)
In April 2014, Egypt’s then foreign minister Nabil Fahmy used a marriage simile to describe the country’s relationship with the United States. At home, the expression didn’t translate. Muhammad Y Gamal discusses the challenges associated with media translation, and makes a case for the development of a coherent media translation policy in Egypt.
Using video of a sexual assault in Tahrir Square as a case study, Madeleine Bair discusses the ethical and logistical considerations of citizen video as a means for social documentation. Bair points to the emergent challenges including reliability, consent, preservation and security, as citizen videos are sourced with increasing regularity by both new and traditional media. The Egyptian video, which sparked national change and international outrage, is a striking example of how citizen video can both shine light on an issue and stir controversy.
A Revolutionary Role or a Remnant of the Past? The Future of the Egyptian Journalist Syndicate after the January 25th Revolution
Miriam Berger reports on change and stagnation at the Egyptian Journalist Syndicate, Egypt’s only official journalist union. Through interviews with syndicate members and media observers, she paints a granular picture of how efforts to reform the syndicate remain blocked by entrenched political, economic and state interests.
Report: The American University in Cairo's Conference on Egypt and International Models of Regulation and Accountability
Egypt’s broadcast media is widely seen as unruly and in need of regulation, with the rights and responsibilities of journalists still unclear two years after the revolution. Mark Visonà reports on the recommendations of a recent conference, hosted by the American University of Cairo, on how to build a regulatory framework. The conference, “Egypt and International Models of Broadcast Regulation and Accountability,” featured guest speakers from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the United States, Tunisia, Libya, and Morocco.
In one of the first studies of Egypt’s Rassd News Network (RNN), Yomna Elsayed explores how this Facebook-based citizen journalism network became the most influential news source during the revolution. Placing RNN in the context of alternative media launched on social networks, she explores the reasons for its success as well as the challenges that it faces.
Is the Egyptian Press Ready for Democracy? Evaluating Newspaper Coverage as an Indicator of Democratization
Noah Rayman performs a quantitative textual analysis of pre- and post-revolution news coverage in the Egyptian independent newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm. He finds that the extent of the paper’s post-revolutionary political coverage and social engagement indicate that Egyptian society and media is progressing on the path to democratization, despite the fact that qualitative analysis paints a less optimistic picture.
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan calls for a society-wide dialogue to discuss the reform of both state and privately owned media, including a ban on individuals owning more than 10 percent of a media outlet.
Dr Mark Allen Peterson contrasts the Egyptian mediascape in 2011 with its Iranian counterpart in 1979 and concludes that, unlike Iran, Egypt is unlikely to revert to a pre-revolutionary status quo which included state domination of the media.
Courtney C. Radsch discusses the interplay between the economic benefits of good communications, the willingness of Arab regimes to close down the Internet and mobile phone networks when they think their survival is at stake, and the role of multinational companies in the region.
Cyberactivism in the Egyptian Revolution: How Civic Engagement and Citizen Journalism Tilted the Balance
Dr Sahar Khamis and Katherine Vaughn give a comprehensive overview of the role of new media in the overthrow of Mubarak and wonders whether the same tools will enable activists to keep up the pressure for change during what could a lengthy transitional period.
Heba Elsayed argues that young members of Cairo's lower middle classes, because of their ability to negotiate for themselves a heterogeneous cosmopolitanism dependent upon local repertoires yet also drawing on global discourses, are more deserving of the cosmopolitan label than their upper-class counterparts.
Omar Foda looks at the video hagiographies of three Coptic saints and finds that this little-studied genre draws heavily on the tropes of the Egyptian musalsal, including very colloquial Arabic language and exclusive use of melodrama in the presentation of emotions
Courtney C. Radsch argues on the basis of the Kareem Amer case that although cyberactivists and rights organizations are capable of sustained campaigns in defense of freedom of expression, some governments at least are almost impervious to the pressure, even at the cost of significant damage to their international image.
Dr Sahar Khamis goes back to Kafr Masoud in the Nile Delta after ten years and notes the effects of exposure to satellite television channels, the Internet and mobile phones, with particular attention to how they have changed the lives and perceptions of rural women.
Tales of 9/11 - What conspiracy theories in Egypt and the United States tell us about ‘media effects’
Stephen Marmura tries to explain the persistence of mistaken beliefs about 9/11 and about the rationale for invading Iraq among the US and Egyptian publics, concluding that memories and long-term discourses sometimes outweigh short-term media effects.
Maurice Chammah analyzes the thinking behind the Islam-oriented music television channel 4Shbab, noting contradictions in its vision of the interaction between Islam and the West. He looks at the audience which 4Shbab assumes already exists and the audience which it hopes to create, and discusses Western media reactions to the project.
Yasmin Moll writes on visual aspects of the phenomenon of Islamic televangelism, arguing that: “a consideration of contemporary media practices in Islam invites us to expand our definition of what the visual might be and what acts of seeing might entail.”