Egyptian presidency offers journalism advice in response to protests

Egyptian presidency 'advises journalists' in first official comment on pro-democracy protests
2 min read
22 September, 2019
In its first official comment on protests against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Egyptian presidency took issue with global media coverage, telling journalists not to trust social media.
The Egyptian presidency told foreign journalists not to trust social media regarding protests [Getty]
In its first official comment on the protests against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government which took place in several Egyptian cities on Friday and Saturday, the Egyptian presidency appeared to hold the world media responsible.

The presidency “renewed its reminder to correspondents and all media organisations to adhere to the professional standards of journalism and media agreed upon throughout the world”.

In what appeared to be a warning it added that it had “closely followed what was broadcast and published by global media via their accredited correspondents in Cairo over the past 24 hours” and called on them “not to depend on social media platforms as sources of news, for fear of chaos, confusion, false accounts and fabrication.”

Thousands of people attended protests in Cairo, Suez, Alexandria, Port Said, El-Mahalla El-Kubra and other Egyptian cities in response to a call from construction contractor Mohammed Ali, who has been publishing videos over the past two weeks detailing corruption by Egyptian authorities.

Ali accused President Sisi of contracting his company to build luxurious residences and palaces for himself at a time when poverty rates in Egypt were increasing and pro-Sisi media were telling Egyptians to spend less and live frugally.

In a televised response to Ali last week that many Egyptians found unconvincing, Sisi said that he was building palaces for the state, not for himself, and that he would continue to “build and build and build”.

In widely mocked commentary, pro-Sisi television channels told viewers last week that Egypt needed palaces because other countries also had palaces, claiming they were necessary for the country’s future posterity.

Egyptian state-owned and pro-government media did not make any mention of the protests on Friday and Saturday.

However, the Egyptian presidency’s statement told foreign media that correspondents should not “publish any incidents except those that they themselves witness or that come from known, credible sources and are confirmed by two other trusted sources which have witnessed the event themselves.”

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