A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi is hold back by riot policemen during a rally on the road leading to the Cairo Liberation Square. (File photo)
An Egyptian journalist says Egypt’s army and those in the military have always had the country’s media under their control.
Lina Attallah, the former editor-in-chief of the English-language Egypt Independent
daily, which is now out of circulation, said in a recent interview with Institute for Muslim World Studies that the control has intensified since the ouster of the country’s former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
She noted that the ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood did not have control over the state media, saying that chief editors of the state newspapers in Egypt were appointed by the Shura Council (the upper house of Egyptian Parliament). Islamists were never able to get their hands on the core of these institutions, she added.
The journalist further said that both the state and non-state media in Egypt have turned into the mouthpiece of the military.
Referring to recent violence and attacks on security forces in the restive Sinai Peninsula, Attallah highlighted that the Egyptian army was the only source of news regarding the events in the area, adding that military court ordered the arrest of the most influential correspondent who had been present in the region and enjoyed direct access to the events.
When asked about the authenticity of news articles published by the Mada Masr
, an independent Egyptian online newspaper established by former journalists of Egypt Independent
, she said the online daily is one of the media whose correspondents had been present in the Sinai Peninsula in September to break the taboo of terrorism in the area.
Attallah also said that although the volatile area is suffering from terrorism, the problem is not as huge as what the Egyptian military seeks to project.
She said the newly-founded English-language Mada Masr
has a staff of 25.
Egypt has been experiencing unrelenting violence since July 3, when the army ousted President Morsi, suspended the constitution, and dissolved the parliament. It also appointed the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mahmoud Mansour, as the new interim president.
The military-backed government of Mansour has launched a bloody crackdown on Morsi supporters and arrested more than 2,000 Brotherhood members, including the party’s leader, Mohamed Badie, who was detained on August 20.