By Steven Youngblood, Director, Center for Global Peace Journalism
Peace journalism in Egypt?
Is peace journalism being practiced during the current Egyptian conflict?
My Peace Journalism students will be doing a content analysis tackling that very issue this fall. Just from my informal observations, however, the coverage from western media seems to be typically mediocre: superficial, lacking context, concentrating on and sensationalizing the violence and violent acts without any perspective.
On a Facebook post, and Egyptian friend concurs with my admittedly snap analysis. He writes, “I am disappointed, again, at many international media outlets as they are reporting false facts. The simple fact is that the Brotherhood is trying to burn the country and turn it into a civil war, which, the people of Egypt will not allow.”
We’ll continue to examine peace journalism and its antithesis in Egypt during the coming months.
Insights from one Egyptian
I thought I would also share some additional insights from my Egyptian friend, a bright, dedicated young man whose opinion I value. Again, these are excerpted from Facebook posts:
“Nasr City, that I have spent all my life in, is now being turned into a flame neighbourhood, and this is what the Brotherhood is trying to do. Burning cars, buildings, shops.. What a peaceful protests the Muslim Brotherhood are talking about. Attacks on civilians as well as army and police. And then, you listen to the Turkish and Iranian ministries saying that they are against what the Police and Army are doing in Egypt, that's funny. The Egyptian Foreign ministry should reply to those two statements.”
“This is the beginning of the end of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and worldwide. I will keep reporting and sharing the ... attacks and acts the 'very peaceful' protests (definitely I am sarcastic) are doing throughout the country. The Presidency announced the Emergency State for a month…I hope that the international community understands what the Brotherhood (is) trying to turn our country into, and stop supporting them. (They) are attacking Churches, Police Stations, attacking people on the streets, firing up gas-stations, banks...etc. so that the people fear them. This proves that they are saying either they are in the Presidency or burn-down the country. 32 million people came out on June 30, 2013 to take Morsi and the Brotherhood out of the Presidency, we have done so, but now we are facing much more than this...”
As a peace journalist, I am uncomfortable using the terms terrorism/terrorist, since those terms are imprecise and inflammatory. Thus, I have stricken those words from the above dispatch, which is still powerful without them.
Now, of course, I am interested in hearing the perspective of the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters about these comments.
Follow Steven Youngblood on Twitter @peacejourn and on his blog: http://stevenyoungblood.blogspot.com