If readers of Egyptian dailies pay close attention to the sources of the published news, they would notice that the most important reports are either attributed to the security institution or to sovereign entities. It is as if Egypt doesn’t have any political sources. This gives the impression that the country’s important news is only available within the surroundings of the security institution. This institution’s infiltration of journalism in particular and the media outlets in general is nothing new.
Those who work in the field know that security apparatuses have planted their men in different newspapers, looked after them for decades and even helped them attain prominent positions. This, we can understand. It’s rather an ordinary measure in any police state especially after media outlets became the most important of means in influencing people’s awareness and brainwashing them. Authoritarian regimes in the past used to control societies through armies and security apparatuses. Media outlets, due to their power of influence, now play a part in this control. Those who read George Orwell’s famous book 1984, in which he depicts the Nazism grip on society, find that the Ministry of Truth, in charge of forging news and lying to the people, represents one of the state’s pillars. This is what Frances Stonor Saunders highlighted in her book The Cultural Cold War. She followed up on the role which the CIA carried out in using the media, in addition to arts and cultural activity, since the beginning of the struggle against the Soviet Union. The security apparatuses’ use of the media has a history that dates back to the years of the Cold War which followed World War II. If this happened before the revolution of telecommunications and information technology, then you can imagine the extent these efforts reached in the wake of this revolution.
The security institution’s infiltration of journalism and control of the media is certainDr. Fahmy Howeidy