Experts slam state TV for insufficient coverage of border attack

Media experts criticized Egyptian state television for its insufficient coverage of the Sinai border attack that killed 16 soldiers and wounded seven others.

They said it was slow in following up on the incident, did not change the schedule for TV series or the commercials, depended on Israeli media in obtaining information, and was late in broadcasting reactions and clarifications by Egyptian officials.

In contrast, Egyptian private channels worked hard to relay information through the Israeli media or newspaper correspondents at the scene, experts claimed.

“There is no clear information policy,” said Safwat al-Alem, professor of information at Cairo University, while Farouk Abu Zeid, dean of the Faculty of Mass Communication at the University of Science and Technology, opined that there are no correspondents that state television can rely on.

“Even the president was not well-informed,” Abu Zeid said.

Tarek al-Fatatri, president of the Al-Mehwar channel, said Sinai is a sensitive area. “Officials do not like to divulge information about this place,” he said.

Ali Abdel Rahman, head of state television’s specialized channels, banned commercials containing dances or songs, in consideration of the public state of grief.

Al-Masry Al-Youm could not reach Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud or Ibrahim al-Sayed, the head of the news department, for comment, as they did not answer their phones.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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