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Amira Sayed

Some talk shows have recently sparked public controversy over their approach to social problems like divorce, inheritance, jurisprudence and  more. Such debate was further fuelled when some TV anchors started to take the lead in responding to the audience about problems on their own without hosting experts.

For instance, social media has been recently flooded with numerous posts commenting on the attitude of a female TV anchor on one of the private TV channels, claiming she is encouraging Egyptian women to divorce their husbands and ''destroy'' their homes.

"She is the enemy of men. She incites hatred between men and women. Such programmes must be halted," Mostafa Ali wrote on his Facebook account.

This issue has rekindled debate over the media code of ethics, the role of media in handling social problems besides the impact of media on society. Is media nowadays professional in terms of providing solutions and raising public awareness or is it compounding problems and triggering rows?

Speaking to The Egyptian Gazette, Othman Helmi, Professor at Helwan University's Mass Communication Department, said that media outlets with all its types, for several years, have helped shed light on diverse social, economic and political issues.

"There were many social programmes that helped boost the notion of family integration, bearing in mind that family is the nucleus of society. Of course, there is some malpractice that needs more regulation. But we should not exaggerate by saying that media is the key reason lurking behind the soaring divorce rate!" he said.

Of course, Helmi continued, there should be more regulations that are not at odds with freedom of expression. "The code of ethics should be strictly enforced. The TV anchor should be objective and neutral in discussing issues. He or she should not adopt a certain view, especially in debatable issues. More importantly, media should highlight diverse viewpoints and give voice to the voiceless," he said.

Helmi said  academic study at faculties of mass communication was not enough. There should be more workshops to practically train the anchors-to-be on how to moderate a discussion. "We have to take into consideration that social media now also play a major role in shaping public opinion. We have to admit that social media somehow impacted the performance of media in general," he said.

Aya Hassan, a sociologist at Helwan University, stressed that TV channels should carefully select both TV anchors and guests. "I was surprised that some TV anchors played the role of experts and started to receive people's complaints and give them advice without resorting to experts. Of course, this is a striking example of the so-called media chaos," she said.

We cannot say that media is the main reason for social problems. But of course, it plays a role since its content is accessible to millions of people, the sociologist told The Egyptian Gazette.

"In sociology, we consider media as a double-edged weapon. It can be a tool for building societies or destroying them. Sometimes, in order to get more views and sponsors, a programme may discuss sensitive issues, hosting conflicting parties to further add fuel into injury!" Hassan said.

"There should be more procedures to monitor media content. We have many qualified cadres."





CAIRO, August 9, 2018 - The number of foreign media delegations visiting Egypt is rising, the head of the State Information Service (SIS), Diaa Rashwan, said on Thursday.
Foreign media delegations are visiting Egypt to prepare and produce programmes and documentary films related to tourism, culture, civilisation and archaeological discoveries.
"The latest political and economic developments taking place in Egypt, the success of the government in attracting foreign investment and the positive economic steps taken by Egypt recently are among the most important topics addressed by the foreign media delegations in their programmes and documentaries," Rashwan said in a statement on Thursday.
“One of the most prominent delegations is a US delegation from the Washington Post, which is preparing an economic investment supplement on Egypt, to be published in the newspaper in November,” Rashwan added.
One of the delegations is from the French Channel 2, which is preparing a documentary entitled "Egypt from the Sky".
The documentary provides aerial views of all the touristic and archaeological sites nationwide. In the first half of this year, 160 media delegations with 290 correspondents from various countries visited Egypt.
“They represent the biggest mass media organisations in the US, France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Morocco,” Rashwan said

CAIRO, August 9, 2018 (MENA) - Head of the State Information Service (SIS) Diyaa Rashwan said the number of foreign media delegations flowing to Egypt have recently increased  in order to work on programmes and documentary films in the fields of tourism, culture and archaeology.

In a statement on Thursday, Rashwan said Egypt's success to encourage investments and take positive economic measures figure high in the programmes and documentary films which these foreign media teams are producing.

He referred to an American team from The Washington Post working on a piece on economy and investment in Egypt which is due to be published in November.

He added that a French delegation is working on a documentary film on tourism and archaeological sites in Egypt.

During the first half of 2018, about 290 foreign reporters visited Egypt as members of over 160 media delegations coming from various countries and representating leading media outlets across the world.

The number of foreign correspondents who sought to be accredited by the SIS Foreign Press Centre in the period from 2014 up to the first half of 2018 reached l80 thus  the number of accredited correspondents has reached a total of 1,280 from 300 foreign media institutions.

Gazette staff

CAIRO, August 7, 2018 - Media experts called on Tuesday for the drawing up of a national strategy to counter the malicious rumoursbeing spread about Egypt, by hostile parties.
The call was made at a seminar organised by the Middle East News Agency (MENA), entitled "Role of the Media in Facing Rumours".
The seminar was attended by members of MENA, of Egypt's National Press Authority and media specialists.

Ali Hassan, the Board Chairman of MENA, said that malicious rumourswere being spread systematically by hostile parties through media run by members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) terrorist group and they had increased recently.
He called on the media to seek reliable sources of information and communicate with these sourcesregularly, to publish the correct information about what washappening in Egypt with regard toachievements, decisions and events and to provide a quick reply to rumours.

Hassan praised the role of the Cabinet's Information and Decision Support Centre in dealing with rumours, of which there had been 21,000 during the past three months.
Naayem Saad,media manager at the Cabinet's Information and Decision Support Centre, saidthe centre had been confronting the rumours since 2014. She pointed out that the number of rumours had recently increased dramatically.

She said that rumours were a tool of psychological warfare and they were being used to fool the citizens.

She revealed that rumors were distributed as follows: 20 per cent were about supplies, 18 percent were about education, 16 percent about the economy, 13 per cent about transport, 12 percent about health, 11 percent about oil, seven percent about security and five percent about social solidarity.

CAIRO, July 26 , 2018 (MENA) - The National Media Authority under Hussein Zein Ali agreed on Thursday to a suggestion to draft a media code of ethics to serve the higher interests of Egypt and Sudan.

The code will help boost media cooperation between the two brotherly countries and enrich freedoms, the authority said in a statement.

The suggestion was presented by National Media Authority Undersecretary Ismail el Sheshtawi.

The authority chairman decided to form a four-member working group to coordinate with the Sudanese side as regards the code of ethics.

MOSCOW, July 12, 2018 (News Wires) - Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has slammed the English media, who he said underestimated his side ahead of their World Cup semi-final against the Three Lions on Wednesday.

Modric, whose team initially went 1-0 down to England thanks to a sublime free kick by Kieran Trippier in the fifth minute, accused the English press of showing a lack of respect to Croatia.

Modric told ITV after the match: "People were talking … English journalists, pundits from television. They underestimated Croatia tonight and that was a huge mistake."

Having gone into extra time and penalties in their previous two games ahead of Wednesday's semi-final, Modric said there was an assumption that the Croatian team would be tired, giving England the advantage.

He said: "All these words from them we take, we were reading and we were saying: ‘OK, today we will see who will be tired.’ They should be more humble and respect their opponents more.

"We showed again that we were not tired – we dominated the game mentally and physically."

Modric said: “We should have killed the game even before extra time. This is an amazing achievement for us – it’s a dream come true after such a long time. We are in the final and that is the biggest success in Croatia history. We have to be proud.”

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