Eyewitnesses challenge Egyptian state media impartiality in fatal protests

Thursday, October 13, 2011

With at least 24 dead, eye-witnesses to Sunday night's protests in Egypt assert state-run media broadcast unreliable information, and incorrectly claimed Coptic protesters provoked military action.

Challenging the official narrative provided by Egyptian state media channels, including Channel One and Nile News, blog reports and other social media coverage dispute early reports on Channel One that those protesting threw stones, and fired live ammunition, at military personnel. Further allegations assert coverage was selective, with footage of military vehicles pursuing and running over protesters not aired.

Nile News conducted interviews with injured on each side of the clash. Military and security barred protestors from reaching their building. Nile News anchor Hesham Assy said: " We did the best we could, given the circumstances, as it was very difficult to leave the building last night."

Despite this, journalist Mai Elwakil writing for Almasry Alyoum claims "the coverage [overall] seems to have led viewers to believe that Coptic protesters caused the violence."

Challenging the stance of state media, it is claimed the military fired upon protesters, and deliberately attacked them using excessive force. Members of the state media also question the coverage; state TV worker Taghreed al-Dossouky announced via her Twitter account, "I reject the Egyptian state media's coverage because it incites sectarianism, and I condemn all those who partake in it."

At least 24 people were killed and over 200 wounded as the demonstration turned violent.