by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Chief Visionary Founder & Owner
July 3, 2013 (TSR) – Egyptian Security forces have broken into the studios of Qatar’s Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr and have locked up its employees inside, shortly after the arrest of crews of Islamic TV channels, Al-Ahram reported.
Earlier on Wednesday, shortly after the military announcement of the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood-owned television channel Misr 25 went off air along with several other Islamist-run channels, including the controversial Hafez and Al-Nas.
Police forces went to the Media Production City in Cairo’s 6 October, where the offices and studios of these channels are located, and evacuated them, according to Al-Ahram’s Arabic-language news portal.
The police also arrested some of the personnel working for these channels.
No Praise for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Media
Maspero, home to the state-run Egyptian Radio and Television Union, has always lived by the motto: “The king is dead, long live the king.” The oldest state-run broadcasting organization in the Arab world, located on the banks of the Nile, has perhaps changed its tune this time around, perhaps due to the ongoing protests inside the building against the Muslim Brotherhood information minister, Salah Abdel-Maqsoud.
Nevertheless, the events that transpired at the studio after the Egyptian army’s 48-hour ultimatum formed a new juncture inside Maspero, especially for Nile News TV.
Al-Akhbar learned the details from several sources inside the building. News editors received instructions not to rebroadcast the army’s statement before the channel had a chance to draw a road map for coverage.
Nile News TV editors refused to follow instructions. They contacted the army’s leadership, who then sent delegates to sit in the control room and supervise the broadcast of everything related to the the army’s movements.
News department editors who provide broadcast scripts to Channels 1, 2, and al-Masriya refused to follow their superiors’ orders, fearing they would be subject to the people’s wrath after the fall of President Mohamed Mursi. It was obvious that the presidential statement that came in response to the army’s statement did not receive much air-time on state-run or private channels.
Nile News TV took a more daring step that drew the attention of journalist Amr Adib on Alyoum TV (Orbit Network). They divided the screen into three sections displaying the protests all over Egypt. They did not include the protests in support of the president at Rabia al-Adawiyya Square.
Since the army’s statement, the regime’s representatives inside Maspero have changed their operations. They stopped pressuring news anchors and editors to alter content in a way that serves the regime. The most prominent incident was Abdel-Maqsoud’s departure from the building out the back door following a security warning that he might face a sudden uprising, leaving him cornered in his 9th floor office.
Some news websites reported that Mursi’s consultant Pakinam el-Sharkawy called Egyptian TV’s news chief, Ibrahim al-Sayyad, threatening to retaliate against the editors for their opposition-biased coverage.
The private channels that oppose the regime (the same ones that Mursi’s men threatened to shut down last week) celebrated the army’s statement, arguing that it was a boon for the June 30 protests. These channels broadcast the statement repeatedly and televised individual reactions that praised the army’s stand.
CBC TV broadcast a video that angered the Muslim Brotherhood, prompting their official spokesperson, Jihad al-Haddad, to argue that it is proof of the army’s bias in favor of the opposition. The video, taken from a helicopter – an impossible feat for any Egyptian TV channel – showed huge crowds in Cairo’s streets. It was obvious that the army provided this video, which inspired viewers and provided visual proof that the crowds protesting Mursi were indeed the largest in the history of the Middle East. (Source: Al-Akhbar)