Egyptian and international human rights and cultural bodies have expressed their concerns about the focus of certain media to broadcast or publish material that spreads hatred and incites or insults a large swathe of society. The positions taken by Egyptian journalists and TV show presenters were criticised widely on social media because of the strong language used.
Although such media is generally critical of removed president Mohamed Morsi and his supporters, it has been described by observers and intellectuals from the anti-Morsi camp as a “flood of hatred”. A defamation campaign against the elected president began as long ago as January, it has been claimed, when Basem Yousef was accused of “insulting” Morsi.
Just days after the president took office in June last year, foreign newspapers, including the New York Times, published reports saying that the Egyptian media was targeting the new president in a defamation war. This, it was claimed, was very different to what happened during the Mubarak era.
It is apparent that defamation campaigns are also targeting Palestinians and Syrians.
Egyptian human rights organisations have called for the interim authorities to nurture an unbiased and balanced media, at least through the state media organs.