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State Television Was “Just Obeying Orders”

June 18, 2011

The Maspero Building in Cairo houses state television.

The changing role of state media during the uprisings has been much written about, including on this blog, so much of Basma Salama’s article on this topic in a recent issue of the English daily Egyptian Gazette is necessarily redundant.

There are a few interesting tidbits though. For example:

Meanwhile, Egypt’s most popular website,, polled 78,000 users about news channels that they watched during the protests, and the results revealed how much Egyptians distrusted their TV channels.  bout 45 per cent reported watching Aljazeera and Al-Arabiya channels, while 27 per cent said they watched Egyptian private channels like Dream, Al-Hayat, Al-Mehwar, On TV and others. Only 11 per cent tuned into Egyptian State media.

And there’s the interview in which her journalist informant uses the same hoary excuse used by all state apparachiks irregardless of locale or cultural background:

As for where Maspero was during the demos? They replied: “Nobody inside Maspero was really happy about the Government’s response to the protests; we were just following orders.”

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