The Editors Weblog 16 July 2005
Editors Voice:
Editors Debate on Standard of Egyptian Journalism

Bahrain's private TV channel Al-Safwa's daily discussion programme "On the Air" recently discussed on the current state of the Egyptian press and ways to improve it. The guests were Lamis al-Hadidi, editor-in-chief of Egyptian daily Al-Alam al-Yawm, Abd-al-Halim Qandil, editor of Egyptian opposition daily Al-Arabi al-Nasiri and Khayri Ramadan, editor of Al-Ahram al-Arabi.

Al-Hadidi, in her criticism of the state of the Egyptian press, focused on the lack of a viable second and third generation within the structure of Egyptian newspapers. Al-Hadidi said that most official newspapers had had the same editors-in-chief for more than 20 years and that this had stifled creativity and individuality within these organizations. She said that Egyptian journalists had, under those difficult circumstances, lost many of the values that were needed in journalism. "They have lost the distinction between article and advertisement, between news and opinion", Al-Hadidi said.

Qandil agreed with Al-Hadidi's assessment but added that it was the "lack of freedom" that had also led to "rigidity" within the Egyptian press. Qandil said that official newspapers were not addressing people's concerns and that this was apparent in the "gradual fall" in official papers' distribution numbers, while opposition and independent papers were steadily distributing more copies. Ramadan said that many independent newspapers relied on sensationalist headlines to attract readers.

Source: Al-Safwa TV (in Arabic)

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