On The Listening Post this week: Eight years since the revolution, the squeeze on Egypt’s embattled media is tighter than ever before. Plus, President Sisi’s talk show bias.
After spring came winter: The fall of the Egyptian media
It has been eight years since the fall of Hosni Mubarak and the uprising that briefly liberated Egyptians and their media from life under the one-man rule. Fast-forward to the present day and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s government is doubling down, tripling down on controlling the news media – measures that rights groups say are unprecedented in the country’s recent history.
With the margins of acceptable speech narrower than ever and journalists expected to demonstrate complete loyalty to the state, discerning truth in Egypt from propaganda, gets more difficult by the day.
Marwa Maziad – Comparative Media and Politics researcher, University of Washington
Dalia Fahmy – Associate Professor of Political Science, Long Island University
Amr Magdi – Researcher, Human Rights Watch
Ahmed Samih – Director, Andalus Institute
On our radar
Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Marcela Pizarro about Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has made the media the target of its pre-election billboard campaign; and a Nicaraguan journalist who has fled the country for fear of the Ortega government.
Spinning for Sisi: Egypt’s talk show hosts
Egyptians call them “emperors”, and every night millions tune in to watch them lecture, entertain and rant their way through hours of television output. Talk show hosts form a key filter through which Egyptians have come to view politics and they have an outsized influence on the masses.
Under Abdel Fattah El Sisi, talk show hosts are expected to legitimise his presidency and vilify his critics. When they don’t, they have a habit of disappearing from the airwaves, just like that.
The Listening Post‘s Tariq Nafi reports on the highly politicised world of TV talk shows in Egypt.
Marwan Kraidy – Director, Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication & Author, ‘The Naked Blogger Cairo’
Fatima El Issawi – Senior Lecturer, University of Essex
Amr Khalifa – Analyst & Political Columnist