If you were an Egyptian, watching the massive uprising in your country unfold over the past three weeks, you weren’t doing so on state media. Indeed, the government’s media outlets were barely covering the protests at all, and repeatedly insisted the situation had “returned to normal” in the midst of rising rebellion.
Indeed, those who were able to do so got used to using al-Jazeera, BBC and other regional media as news sources, and in the face of massive censorship some of them also had to rely on word of mouth. Trusting the state media, simply, was not an option.
With Mubarak gone, the state-run media outlets like Nile News TV and al-Ahram, a 100+ year old newspaper, are struggling to find some way to win back the trust of the public. This is going to be no easy task, and indeed a number of the outlets have seen calls for their leadership to resign en masse.
With Egypt still under martial law, it remains to be seen what will happen going forward to the nation’s media, but many of the outlets’ employees see themselves as surviving into the new era, as “public” run institutions. Whether they can survive against private media, and whether private media will even be allowed, remains to be seen.
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