Egypt TV talk show put on ice over media control
Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 23-10-2011 The popular chat show host Yosri Fouda has suspended broadcasting his 'Last Word' programme on ONTV in protest of media control in Egypt.
In a statement Fouda said there had been "a noticeable deterioration in media freedoms accompanied by a noticeable laxity towards the media's bathos (triviality)."
"The deterioration and laxity spring from a belief held by those in authority that the media can deny an existing reality or fabricate a reality that does not exist," he posted on Facebook.
As a result, Fouda said he is "indefinitely suspending" his talk show, which was not broadcast on the private satellite channel on Thursday (20 October).
The action by the former London bureau chief of Al Jazeera follows the withholding of newspaper columns by a number of Egyptian journalists earlier in October, in protest at censorship from the ruling military council, according to AFP.
The military has denied the accusations, and also defended the controversial coverage by state TV of the clash between soldiers and Coptic Christians which resulted in the death of 25 people on 9 October. ERTU showed a soldier calling Christians "the sons of dogs" and was accused of favouring the soldiers in what were seen by many as biased reports of the tragic events.
The army has also been accused by politicians of aggravating social tensions by its clumsy response to street violence, and for failing to give a clear timetable for handing power to civilians.