Riham El Sahly in AT exclusive:

I aim for highest neutrality in media

GMT 14:56 2012 Monday ,20 February

Arab Today, arab today I aim for highest neutrality in media

Egyptian presenter Riham El-Sahly
Cairo - Hazem Al Masry

Egyptian presenter Riham El-Sahly Egyptian presenter Riham El-Sahly, who is famous for the programme '90 minutes' on Mehwar space channel, said she only cares about satisfying her vocational conscience by trying to achieve the highest feasible neutrality of the media.
Talking about the remains of the regime or the revolutionists, El-Sahly denied being biased about a party at the expense of another.
El Sahly assured in an exclusive interview to “Arabstoday” that she is always keen to check her Facebook page to discover views and critics about her job, and she pointed that: “They either show me a mistake I made and enable me to fix it; or they reassure me that I am taking steady moves forward. But I am happy that no one thought I changed my views, like many did, after the revolution.”
She then explained that “when Moataz El Demerdash left the programme, the failure was possible but it didn’t happen” considering that “as long as the programme proceeds and its ads are around 50 minutes, it means I have succeeded in carrying such responsibility.”
The interview went on as follows:
AT: First of all, what did your work in the Egyptian TV give you?
RS: I worked for the Egyptian Television in several kinds of programme. It was very beneficial as I learnt how to write news and not to take any speeches transmitted through any news agency, like Reuters or others without formulation as their ways are different from mine as a show presenter in Egyptian TV.
AT: What do you think about the Egyptian Television's current performance?
RS: I can’t judge the Minister of Information, especially now that he has just been appointed but it is a good indicator seeing the desire and the readiness of my colleagues to change their style. I hope the minister will give them the opportunity to change the picture the audience had of the Egyptian TV because of its bad coverage of the 25 January revolution.
AT: How do you explain the fact that you have never been criticised?
RS: I am trying to achieve the highest level of media neutrality; I don’t want to direct the public opinion towards my view. Though many media figures believe in unifying the opinions, I am not convinced. Maybe that's why I'm not attacked.
I can say my opinion with my friends but not on air. I don’t have the right to direct the viewers.
AT: How do you feel when you watch presenters who have changed side after the revolution?
RS: Everyone has his own excuse and his own opinion, I can’t judge. But I was always shy to praise any prominent figure, even if deserving. I have never been a hypocrite with patrons or governors.
AT: How can you explain the decline of ads after Moataz El Demerdash quit?
RS: Moataz left the programme in March and the revolution was in January and that was the reason behind the stop of ads and his withdrawal from all programmes.
AT: What difficulties did you have to face after Moataz left?
RS: It wasn't the first time I had to present a show alone. Moataz had travelled before and I presented alone. I have a continuous feeling of commitment.

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