One of the most upsetting facts to me in Egypt, is the presence of
"National" newspapers (the right term would be government funded
newspapers)! these papers were private until they were natioanlized
after the 1952 coup d'etat.
Two days ago, Al-Ahram newspaper had a small clip about a
recommendation to deffer the discussion of the large debts these papers
owe to the governement in the parliament!!!
You got to be kidding me! the government is forcing us to read the news
they dictate to their crony newspapers, and then, we have to pay the
bill of their mismanagement! In any other country, having monopoly over
such important media outlet, would mean a lot of gains, not the other
To start with, it is not right to have national newspapers from the
point of view of freedom of expression, since the editors in these
papers will always be bound by the directives of their boss! the
The second base for objection is the fact that they are not
economically feasible! since all the rules of public sector bureaucracy
will apply to their hiring and firing policies, as well as every other
aspect of their life cycle.
Recently, strong private newspapers started to appear such as "Al Masry
Al-Yaum" but they are still in their infancy, and their resources are
relatively limited, their access to news sources and other materials
cannot be compared to the giant three "Ahram, Akhbar Gumhoria".
I think that this is one of the reasons why we don't have a decent
world class newspaper in Egypt that compares to the london-based Al-
Sharq Al-Awsat, or Al-Hayat newspapers.
Egypt has a huge comparative advantage in the field of media
production, but policies such as having national newspapers, and
national tv would continue to make us loose money and loose ground in
battle for modernization and development.