As turmoil deepens in Egypt, media critics accuse U.S. broadcasters of serving up “blather and confusion” from the mouths of “unqualified panellists.” Most columnists agree that Al Jazeera continues to lead on-the-ground coverage, despite being expelled. “The day belongs to Al Jazeera,” declared the New York Times. The BBC also stands out from the pack with solid, informed coverage. CBC.ca has posted an interesting web feature on protest coverage on the web during the Internet blackout. Meanwhile, the U.S. isn’t a complete black hole: Democracy Now!, for example, has pulled off some credible indepth coverage, despite limited resources. In addition to reports from their correspondent in Egypt, Tuesday’s DN episode takes a look at how people are getting news, including interviews with Al Jazeera English’s Tony Burman and members of the Committee to Protect Journalists. Egypt's state TV is keeping its lens focussed on looting.
Egypt has long been on the CPJ’s watch list for it’s “deplorable” state of press freedom. In addition to jailing and harassing journalists, in recent months the Egyptian government placed restrictions on live coverage of the November elections, and banned recording and broadcasting of court cases. In the current protests, journalists are reportedly being targeted, including the arrests and beating of AP’s team.
(photo by Mona Shosh)