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Egypt’s media embrace military after Morsi ouster

July 13, 2013

CAIRO (AP) — When autocrat Hosni Mubarak fell after popular protests in 2011, journalist Sabah Hamamou hoped for change at her newspaper, Al-Ahram, the state-owned media flagship with an editorial line firmly controlled by the regime.

Hamamou and some of her fellow journalists held demonstrations, issued petitions and pressed editors for the paper to break from state dictates and adopt independent, objective coverage.

Change never came. First, the military rulers who took over after Mubarak tightly controlled the paper. Once Mohammed Morsi became president, his Muslim Brotherhood stepped in and pushed coverage their direction.

“What happened was they just put in their people in Al-Ahram and other state institutions, and nobody tried to reform the institutions themselves,” Hamamou said. “The saying goes if you are confused about who is ruling Egypt, just look at the headlines of Al-Ahram.”

Now Hamamou is dismayed to see the paper and other state media unquestionably embracing the military after its coup that ousted Morsi on July 3, following protests by millions around the country demanding his removal.

It’s not only state media. Independent TV stations and newspapers have also enthusiastically backed the military and its crackdown on the Brotherhood, which included shutting down four Islamist TV stations. Their full-throated support reflects how convinced they became over Morsi’s year that the Brotherhood were fundamentally anti-democratic and intertwined with violent extremists.

Independent stations thrived after Mubarak’s fall, usually touting their advocacy for democratic principles. Many, including several owned by wealthy opponents of the Islamists, were deeply critical of Morsi. They raised the alarm over signs of the Brotherhood monopolizing power, infringements of press freedoms and civil liberties, violent hate speech from his hard-line allies — and over the killing of protesters by police under his administration.

But in recent days, they have been uncritical of acts by the military. Read the rest of the story at WishTV.

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