ANHRI and EOHR monitor media coverage for newspapers and satellite channels during the presidential elections .
Al-Shorouk newspaper is the most neutral and Rose al Yusuf sides against Morsi and Shafiq.
Cairo, May 29 2012
ANHRI and EOHR announced today the end of the second phase of “Monitoring media coverage during the transition period in Egypt” project that is designed to monitor the extent of respect of media to professional standards in news coverage of active figures, politicians and authorities in Egypt and to support the right to freedom of expression and to promote cooperation between media and civil society during the presidential elections.
The monitoring process depended on the mechanism of qualitative and quantitative analysis by using a sample of the most prominent visual and written Egyptian media including: Egyptian TV (satellite channel) – ON TV – CBC – Al Hayat channel 1 (Red) and Al Nahar. As well some national, independent and party newspapers like : al Horeyya wal Adala – al Ahram – al Akhbar – al Wafd – al Ahrar – Rose al Yusuf – al Shorouk – al Masry el Youm – al Tahrir and al Youm el Sabea’.
After two weeks of monitoring, the period between 14-24 of May, the working group was able to reach some conclusions about the Egyptian media performance during the presidential elections and they will be published in the final report that will be released by both of the organizations at the end of the project.
The following is a summary of some of the results reached by the team:
First, the newspapers:
The independent newspaper; Al-Shorouk, is one of the most neutral newspapers in the media coverage of the elections and presentations of the candidates programs and all the different points of views. It stood at the same distance from all the competitive candidates and political spectrum to a large extent though sometimes it has published materials bearing bias yet it was within the frame of displaying different points of view. The neutrality level reached 94% in most of the topics while the estimated proportion of the negative bias was 6% only.
Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh had the largest coverage area of 1198.00 cm with a commitment to impartiality in presenting his news. It tended to criticism in 17% of the topics while the justification for active figures was only 1% of topics. The rest of the topics were not taking any a certain stance toward the the figures.
Al-Masry al-Youm has recorded negative bias against the candidate of al Horeyya wal Adala party; Mohamed Morsi by customizing pages for interviews with all candidates except for Morsi and the independent candidate Abdullah al Ash’al. As well it focused only on Morsi campaign’s breach of electoral silence and not the others. Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotoh was mentioned the most on the newspaper pages during the monitored period on the area of 3931.10 cm. In the way it approached different topics, it tended to criticism only by 6%. It didn’t take sides against active figures in the news and was neutral by 60% of its coverage and negative by 18%.
Al Wafd recorded a permanent bias to the presidential candidate Amr Moussa who was supported by al Wafd party in the elections. It ignored publishing any criticism about him and focused only on his achievements. It was neutral in remaining topics by 57% and was negative by 27% and positive by 16% . Moussa was number one candidate who was mentioned on the pages of the newspaper on an area of 2995.20 cm. It tended to criticize candidates by 20% while 79% of its topics didn’t take a specific trend.
Rose al Yusuf national newspaper has recorded the largest percentage of negative bias against some candidates for its constant attack against Morsi and Shafiq as Morsi is the most name negatively cited in the newspaper on an area of 4080.75 cm. It tended to criticism in its topics by 13% , while most of other topics didn’t take any specific trend by 82% and 5% of topics were justifying for some active figures. It was neutral in the remaining topics by 80% and negative by 15%.
Al-Ahram national newspaper was committed to neutrality in most of the coverage by 95% although its constant attack against Morsi as it used an area of 4952.15 cm solely about him for two weeks. It tended to justify for active figures in the news by 2% while criticized by 1% and it didn’t have any specific trends in the rest of the topics.
The national newspaper Al-Akhbar has breached the electoral silence on the 21st and 22nd by publishing a full page under titled “Day in the life of the president.” It didn’t record any bias with or against any of the candidates. It was neutral with 80% of the coverage and negative by 20%. It tended to criticism in topics by 7%. It justified by 4% and it didn’t take any specific trend in 89% of the coverage. It mentioned Dr. Aboul Fotoh name on an area of 9274.52 cm and was neutral while mentioning him.
Al-Tahrir independent newspaper, was committed to neutrality in topics by 49% only. It took Morsi and Shafiq as adversaries to attack in most of the coverage while it didn’t come close any other candidate by criticism but recorded positive bias for the presidential candidate Hamdeen sabbahy as it devoted an area of 5410.35 cm to him without any criticism. It stayed neutral with both Moussa and Aboul Fotoh. It tended to general criticism by 17% of its topics and justifying for some figures by 8% of topics and the rest didn’t adopt a specific trend.
Al-Ahrar party newspaper was neutral by 92% and negative by 7% . It didn’t take a stand against a particular candidate but it mentioned Moussa on an area of 2064.50 cm and it tended to criticism by 15% . It didn’t resort to justify for any figure in the coverage and it didn’t have a specific trend in 85% of its topics.
The independent newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabea’ has recorded a negative bias for attacking Shafiq significantly although it upheld him in his crisis with MP Essam Sultan as it allocated to him a space to comment on the crisis without providing an equal chance for the opposite opinion. It was negatively biased by attacking Morsi and allocating an area of 5934.30 cm solely for his news. It committed to neutrality with both Sabbahy and Moussa and criticized the political role of some figures by 5% and 90% of its topics didn’t adopt a specific trend. It was neutral by 63% and negative by 19%.
Al Horeyya wal Adala party newspaper didn’t leave away to publicize Morsi and didn’t use it. It distributed over two days the 19th and the 20th with its issues a supplement with the renaissance project summary that belongs to Morsi and by using its logo on the on the top right corner of each page of the newspaper. As well it breached the electoral silence by quoting “Vote for Morsi” in the end of each article published as it allocated a space of 60371.70 cm solely talking about him. It took an aggressive stance against Shafiq and attacked him systematically. It was neutral by 43% and took positive attitude towards people by 42% and its coverage recorded 15% of negative situations.
Some newspapers spread rumors to promote or to attack a particular candidate as when Al-Akhbar has circulated that Aboul Fotoh won most of the votes of Egyptians living abroad though the result wasn’t announced yet. Same with Rose al Yusuf that spread a rumor of Sheikh Yussuf Al Qaradawi abondoning his support for Aboul Fotoh which didn’t happen. As well Al Horeyya wal Adala resorted to manipulate statements and adapting them in favor of Morsi as what happened with Sheikh Al Qaradawi’s statement calling Egyptians to choose an Islamic leader as the news didn’t mentioned that he meant Aboul Fotoh by his statement as he publicly supports him.
Second, television programs:
As for the visual media, the final result of its performance in covering the presidential elections revealed some excesses to the standards of impartiality and professional integrity.
Through the monitoring of political figures, Muslims Brotherhood and its candidate Morsi were the highest in the elections coverage rate followed by Shafiq and the independent candidate Moussa compared to the other political figures.
Elections, policies and mechanisms of governance dominated the highest rate in repetition as they were the prominent topics the programs tackled during the monitoring phase during the coverage where elections ranked the first and most important compared to other topics. This was due to the political speech and environment as the monitored tool focused on elections as their rates got higher by reaching 327.
It was noticed the almost insignificance contribution of women and their absenteeism on the political arena and election coverage compared to men. That was tackled clearly in the report by stating the rates and spaces allocated to men during media coverage on the programs compared to active women figures which the highest rate was 89% in some channels like : Al-Hayat 1 , CBC compared to the lowest ratio 0% in ON TV and Al-Nahar.
As for the direct intervention in the coverage, the monitored TV programs were committed to being neutral too and were keen to host the opinion and oposite if not by direct presence on air within the studio then by phone call intervention. The highest rate was witnessed in the Egyptian TV compared to other channels. They were neutral of not adopting any attitude in a direct way regarding what was covered. Impartiality rates increased in Egypt TV by 88% compared to other channels. They reached negative rates by 16% as the highest and 1% as the lowest in CBC.
As for how each program approaches topics, all preferred impartiality with no specific trend which was the highest in CBC with a rate that reached 99% while Al-Nahar got the lowest rate by 60%. As for criticism, the highest was in Al-Nahar by 16% and the lowest was for CBC by 0%.
The following are some examples of graphs of some of the monitored segments:
Regarding the way topics were approached, CBC has the highest rate by 100% of impartiality of the monitored sample as it didn’t make a single case of justification for political figures and neither negative nor positive bias for any candidate as it gave them all an equal space.
Al-Hayat channel didn’t record any specific trend in 94% of the monitored sample while it justified for some figures by 1% and criticized figures by 5%.
On TV was neutral in 81% of the monitored segment of the broadcast material without adopting any specific trend while it criticized political figures by 5% and justified for others by 14% from the sample.
Al-Nahar channel was the least in impartiality in the channels that were monitored as the percent of boradcast material that didn’t adopt any trend was 60% while it justified for political figures by 24% and recorded 16% of criticizm.
The Egyptian satellite channel comes in the second place in terms of impartiality as it recorded 96% of the monitored sample without adopting any specific trend and criticized public figures by 1% and justified by 3%.
“We will continue to monitor media coverage till the end of the transitional phase passing through the second phase of presidential elections and the hand over of power from the military council to the new president until he starts his job. A final report will be issued containing the results details and the qualitative and quantitative analysis charts and necessary tables,” said ANHRI and EOHR.
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