Friday Prayers for Egypt: Jazeera Journalism

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Journalism is a difficult job, largely dependent on the conscience of the journalist. But not far removed is the outlet that pays the bills. Equidistant is the government which grants the credentials.

For all plying this trade in Egypt, God, give them grace, courage, humility, and discernment. Show them what stories to tell. Find them their credible sources. Fit all context into too brief reports. Help them help the world understand.

There is never one narrative, but ever a clamoring for it. The more insistence on a single storyline, the more resistance both issued and received.

And currently, al-Jazeera is in the crosshairs of both. The network challenges the government straight on, and its reporters have found themselves in jail.

Protect the free press, God, and keep the press free. Free from agenda, free from manipulation, free from the politics that birth many narratives. Help them tell the story, and get the facts right.

Free to expose, free to commend, free to hold all stakeholders accountable. Give government wisdom to encourage their work, knowing the curb on corruption comes best from outside. May it respect its people sufficiently to be transparent with them.

Grant this transparency, God, with respect to the Jazeera team. Journalism can clarify, but it can also obscure. Information is power, and journalists are gatekeepers. What keeps them the tendency to corruption but a monitoring presence?

This is the ideal, God, but bring it to Egypt. Give a fair trial to those in prison. Give fair coverage to those in the newsroom. Give fair oversight in fair space to operate.

Give Egypt and the world understanding on what is happening in the nation. However different the narrative, may both government and journalism tell the truth. May the conscience of all be pure.



After Caller Insults Morsi, Radio Host Investigated for Defamation

From Egypt Independent:

Samir, an anchor for the Sports and Youth radio station, was hosting a live show on Sunday at 2 am. The program proposed several political issues to discuss with the audience, and one caller allegedly insulted Morsy on the airwaves. The call was cut short by the show’s control personnel, and then Samir thanked the caller and said she would resume the show.

The anchor reported that after her show ended, she was surprised to find that she would be investigated on defamation charges for thanking a caller who insulted Morsy. The Egyptian Radio and Television Union is penalizing Samir by deducting her monthly incentives and banning her from presenting programs alone.

Egypt Independent is an independent newspaper which generally maintains a slant toward liberalism and away from the Islamist trend. Could there be an element of embellishment here?

If not, it is still important to note that an investigation has been launched, not a conviction, thought it appears company discipline has already been applied.

But taking the story at face value, it reinforces what many say is a disturbing encroachment on the practice of press freedom. Surely the press has many excesses, but to punish a host for good manners? The cause for concern is legitimate.

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