Mohammed Salah, Montasser al-Zayat:

Tahrir TV policies have changed

GMT 16:24 2012 Monday ,21 May

Arab Today, arab today Tahrir TV policies have changed

Mohammed Salah & Montasser al-Zayat
Cairo - Arabstoday

Mohammed Salah & Montasser al-Zayat Cairo - Arabstoday It seems Egyptian media have yet to find their feet after the revolution. Mohammed Salah and Montasser al-Zayet are the latest to leave Tahrir TV, one of Egypt's newest television channels formed during the revolution that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak. The presenters have joined a long list of Tahrir TV staff who have left the channel citing differences with the channel's changing editorial policy. "We have resigned from the channel and stopped our show because changing conditions and policies within the channel made our performance and our duty towards the audiences inside and outside Egypt impossible. We pledged to broadcast the show through a channel that would reflect the values and real spirit of the glorious revolution while strictly maintaining professional standards and objectivity. The channel administration has not committed to provide the conditions that ensure those concepts, so we decided to stop the show in order to sustain the mutual trust between the programme's team and the audience and to satisfy our consciences and preserve our dignity," said the two in a joint statement. Salah and al-Zayet, both acclaimed television presenters, spearheaded the talk show 'Endama Yaaty El Masaa' (When Evening Comes) on Tahrir TV. The talk show addressed a range of political topics and often interviewed prominent officials, including Islamist presidential candidate Mohammed Selim el-Awa. The show made its small-screen debut on March 17, with "the objectives of the revolution" announced as its core. Salah and al-Zayet, however, said the situation changed "quickly and dramatically" to the point where they could not continue the show anymore. Al-Zayet is also a lawyer and prominent member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which made sweeping gains in the parliamentary elections and has now set its sights on the presidency. The two however did not rule out resuming the show on a different channel - claiming they owned the programme's intellectual property rights, and were free to resume production if they chose to do so, albeit not on Tahrir TV. Tahrir TV  is a privately-owned Egyptian television channel that was launched in February last year following the 2011 Egyptian revolution, before Mubarak was forced to step down. It debuted with the slogan “The People Want to Liberate The Minds". The founders, consisting of a pro-reform journalist, a Muslim Brotherhood member, and an engineer first claimed the channel aimed to voice the perspectives of Egypt's protesters while presenting a variety of political positions. The channel has however been criticised on various fronts since its inception. Former president Hosni Mubarak’s sons, Alaa Mubarak and Gamal Mubarak criticised the channel for provoking its audience, while others denounced its hardcore political character, causing advertisers to retreat in fear. A change in ownership with rumours of a majority takeover by Brotherhood-affiliated individuals later triggered the assumption that the channel would not be as revolutionary as it had earlier claimed, despite co-owner Ahmed Abu-Haiba denying the charges. Hamdy Kandeel, a prominent journalist who presented the show Qalam Rusas left the channel as a result. Others who have had disputes with the channel include four hosts of the programme Fal Midan, who left due to "personal reasons"; television host Doss Sultan, who had a much-publicised quarrel with the channels's management over what she saw as a deliberate cancellation of a "Talk Shows" episode that she presented; Al Youm host Dina Abdulrahman left after an alleged tussle over deciding on the channel's editorial policies In December 2011, Tahrir TV journalists, along with other television reporters, were attacked during a pro-Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) rally in Abbasiya Square in Cairo. News media in post-revolution countries of the  ARab Apring have however proven to be influential tools that can pressure the political establishment. Egypt in particular is still in the process of re-inventing itself. A report by Arab Media Outlook noted: "Since the recent political crisis in Egypt, a number of channels have launched, including Tahrir TV and news channels 25TV and Egypt 25." Viewers became somewhat more patriotic as they are more worried about political development in their own country, rather than regional issues, the study said.  

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