Egypt’s Martial Media

by Brendan James

Sarah Carr worries about the Egyptian state controlling the press:

It looks like we are heading towards media oppression that will be worse than under 2011. There is a public appetite for it, and the security bodies have apparently been given a green light to do as they please.  Wars on terrorism rely on crude binaries: You are either with us or against us, and this is the constant message being relayed to us ([presidential advisor Mostafa] Hegazy even said during the presser yesterday that Egypt is “taking note of who is with it and who is against it”).

Laura Dean connects Egypt’s polarized media to the country’s deepening divisions:

When the army took power they shut down several Islamist channels, and since then the state and independent outlets have shown unwavering support for the army and the military-backed government. When 51 Morsi supporters were killed by security forces outside the Republican Guard, the army said they were provoked and did little to attempt to justify what was, at the very least, a disproportionate use of force. Despite the overwhelming number of dead Morsi supporters, no one in the mainstream media questioned the military’s line. …

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood is not innocent of biased and faulty coverage. Following the Republican Guard killings, they used images of dead Syrian children, claiming they were Egyptians that had been killed in the shooting.

David Kenner takes note of the military’s intimidation of foreign journalists:

The official criticism of the foreign press corps has coincided with an increase in attacks on journalists as they cover events in Cairo. The Guardian’s Patrick Kingsley, the Washington Post‘s Abigail Hauslohner, the Independent‘s Alastair Beach, the Wall Street Journal‘s Matt Bradley, and McClatchy‘s Nancy Youssef were all threatened by Egyptian security forces or civilians in the past several days. Brazilian journalist Hugo Bachega was also detained while covering the protests on Friday, as was Canadian filmmaker John Greyson and physician Tarek Loubani, whose current location remains unknown.