Friday, 25 June 2010


Traditional media overlooks post-traditional demonstrations

  • Friday, 25 June 2010
  • Fouad GM
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  • Ben Wedeman, CNN's senior correspondent in Jerusalem reporting on the demonstration protesting Alexandrian Khalid Sa'id's murder at the hands of two plain-clothed police agents. The protest which took place after Friday prayer at Khalid's local mosque in Sidi Gaber attracted much attention owing to the participation of Nobel laureate and pro-democracy figurehead Mohammed El-Baradei, better known as former IAEA head.

    CNN has given the pro-democracy movement in Egypt little air time - even today as Wedeman reports from Sidi Gaber, there is no mention of the thousands who wore black, faced the Nile or the Mediterranean and gave their backs to Egypt in a silent show of protest, disgust and dismay at the regime and police brutality for the second Friday in a row - an initiative started on the "We are all Khalid Sa'id" Facebook group. This Friday, eyewitnesses, journalists and bloggers reported, tens of thousands took part in the silent demonstration all over Egypt: Cairo, Alexandria, Mansoura, Monoufiya, Dumiyat, Ras El-Barr, Suez, Ismailia, Port Said, Assiyut, Bani Suweyf, Fayyoum and other locations. Egyptians abroad also took part in the show of solidarity and protest raising banners, flags and dressed in black in Dubai, Mecca, Paris and elsewhere. This, CNN decided, wasn't too worthy of its airtime.

    Another CNN report, viewable only in Europe, also reported on last Friday's demonstration - again, focusing almost exclusively on the protest patronised by the presence of opposition figure, Nobel Prize laureate and ex-IAEA director Mohammed El-Baradei and ignored the public disobedience demonstrations that have taken place in more than a dozen Egyptian cities and amongst the Egyptian diaspora, the video is still censored in Egypt for some reason.

    4 Responses to “Traditional media overlooks post-traditional demonstrations”

    Anonymous said...
    26 June 2010 at 14:32

    Have you thought of the fact that maybe CNN can't be in Alexandria, Mansoura, Monoufiya, Ras El Barr, Suez, Ismailia, Port Said, etc.. all at the same time?? You go ahead if you can.

    Fouad GM said...
    29 June 2010 at 04:40

    Although it has the capacity to be in all those locations at once, it's not even required to be there at the same time, it has the ability to access photos, videos and live news from sources it has used extensively in other occasions (such as Twitter, remember Iran 2009?).

    My point was that EVEN in Alexandria, they reported on the protest that featured El-Baradei and Ayman Nour and ignored the thousands dressed in black and stood on Egypt's corniches. Right, or am I being unfair?

    Ben Wedeman said...
    1 July 2010 at 12:22

    Thanks for your observations. I take them to heart. Please be aware that CNN Cairo covers not just Egypt but wherever news requires. We've been in Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, Kyrgyzstan and elsewhere this year so far. We take the story in Egypt very seriously, and cover it to the best of our ability. We cannot, however, be everywhere, all the time, as much as we'd like to. Ben Wedeman, CNN Cairo

    Anonymous said...
    4 July 2010 at 17:16

    huffpost piece on the first silent protest / flash mob

    the new website they are mounting a facebook campaign against Egyptian police on facebook :)

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