As the world’s media have rushed to compete on the wave of rapid developments sweeping across the globe, Egypt’s state media focuses on a different story. The Maspero building – with its entire internal and external staff – keep drowning in deep and unchartered waters of corruption, misconduct and a performance far away from the basic rules of media ethics.
Several media initiatives have been called upon and all went in vain. It is true that already before Mubarak’s ouster that the strength of state media was deteriorating in Egypt. The old known official channels one, two and three of the Egyptian TV have only succeeded inattracting younger audiences, namely those residing in poor slum areas and small villages. With the migration of the Internet and Satellite television channels, the meager amount of viewers have started shrinking even more and more.
The authentic tail-off of Egypt’s state media reached its peak since the eruption of the 25 January political earthquake. The credibility was completely tarnished when Egyptian official stations and satellite channels have consecutively aired a deceptive video of almost an empty Tahrir Square, when thousands were actually shouting for the fall of the authoritarian regime and many were losing their eyes and lives.
It continues with its misleading coverage and negative settings of public agenda to reach the extent of triggering sectarian strives, during its famous imprecise and unprofessional coverage of the Maspero incident. One shall then remember the TV anchor, which namely described Copts as enemies of the nation and the main reason for bloodshed in the area at the time. As clashes and violence swell, Egyptians’ tears appear never-ending. The State TV with its irresponsible airing have sometimes dynamites every home viewing its screens.
With the increasingly growing number of satellite channels especially those launched over the course of 2011, the availability of credible information has become potentially more approachable to the public. One would ask, then, why would you turn off to channels as such? Sadly enough, the State TV suffers real agony and keeps sending alarming bells of clinical death.
After President Morsy’s recent appointment of figures close to the Freedom and Justice Party to enjoy relaxing on the peak of Egypt’s state newspapers, media and press freedom organisations censured the move. Many Egyptians denounced the evident proof of Ikhwanising the Egyptian media. For many, the decision was nothing but a scene of a dying patient where doctors strive to put him on life support devices.
In Morsy’s reign, Egypt’s state media is a hopeless case supervised by some new bearded doctors, who most probably lack the professional ability to fairly assess the case. For me, the doctors are merely clinging onto hopes that the powerful will of God is the only way to recover the illness. A miracle? One should wait for!
Recalling the much uncritical coverage of events, one would say that after years of liberalization of media the country’s state media has quickly dialed back to an absolutely earlier era in its coverage. It keeps dragging on Egypt’s democratic aspirations and dashing hopes that it may one day recuperate from its chronic malady.