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The Egyptian constitution guarantees freedom of the press. In practice, the Egyptian government has not always respected this right and, although the situation is getting better, there are still several laws in effect that restrict the right to freedom of the Egyptian media.

For one thing, most newspapers, magazines, and journals, as well as its radio and television stations, are owned in some way by the government or a political party. Journalists from private publications have been arrested for violating laws that prohibit criticism of the government or its elected leaders, or for publishing what the government deemed false news.

News reports or editorials that may be viewed as critical of Islamic beliefs are also likely to provoke official reprisals. Overt government censorship is common, as is the perpetuation of a climate that encourages self-censorship.

More than six hundred newspapers and other print media are in publication in Egypt, and criticism of government policies or elected officials does occur. Libel is still a criminal offense in Egypt, however.

There are two state-owned television stations, as well as some private broadcasters, totaling something in the neighborhood of a hundred Egyptian television channels. However, private broadcasters are not permitted to broadcast their own news reports but focus on music or entertainment content. Al-Jazeera and other Arab news channels are available and popular among Egyptian viewers. In 2006, journalists employed by Al-Jazeera were jailed for reporting on topics such as police brutality in Egypt, however. Egypt was the first of the Arab nations to have its own satellite, allowing the Egyptian television and film industries to supply shows to much of the Arab world.

There were once as many as fourteen privately operated radio stations in Egypt, but radio broadcasting was nationalized in 1947, and has been ever since. With the exception of a non-political station operated by a resort, all of the radio stations in Egypt are state-owned, and the majority of them are in the Cairo region. Foreign-owned stations are not allowed to broadcast on land controlled by Egypt, although some international broadcasters do broadcast from areas close to Egypt so that their signals may be picked up by Egyptian listeners.

Unlike many other African nations, the Egyptian government has encouraged the use of the Internet. Nearly fifty percent of the country's population has access to the Internet, and the medium is often used for political opposition and debate, as well as for publishing news stories that would be prohibited in the print media. Thus far, the Egyptian government has not widely censored the Internet, although some websites have been blocked after being deemed a threat to national security, and Egyptian citizens have been arrested for insulting Islam, the Egyptian president, or government institutions based on things they had posted online. In 2011, an Egyptian blogger was sentenced to prison for insulting the armed forces and publishing false information.

This category will house websites whose topics relate to the Egyptian media, either in general or to specific newspapers, magazines, journals, radio stations, television stations, or other forms of media. Online news sites are also appropriate for this category. Publications outside of Egypt may be appropriate for this category if the focus is on Egypt.

 

 

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