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German expert says Egyptian media exploited Morsi freedoms to overthrow him

January 30, 2014 at 10:00 am

A German expert in international communications has expressed her surprise that the Egyptian media have rejected the freedoms opened up by ousted president Mohamed Morsi and opted instead for the old, military-led authoritarianism.

Professor Carola Richter, from Berlin’s Free University, said that the media had used the freedoms introduced by Morsi to overthrow him. “The Egyptian media played a role in the battle between the military and the rebels during which fabricated scenes of pro- coup protests were broadcast.” She stressed her belief that the Muslim Brotherhood’s claim that the media had mobilised public opinion against its rule “is absolutely accurate”.

According to Richter, the financial and logistical support given by leading Copt Naguib Sawiris to the opposition Tamarod movement demonstrated how social media could be manipulated to achieve personal and collective aims.

“The army has succeeded in controlling the media as a result of partisan ideology and individual interests,” said Prof. Richter. “These are rooted deeply in the media structure and the country’s politicians, economists and military elites as part of the media culture.”