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The Conflict between Journalists and the Constitution of 2014 in Egypt

Miral Al Ashry*

Department of Journalism, Modern University for Technology and Information (MTI), Media Advisor at International Federation of African Women, Cairo, Egypt

*Corresponding Author:
Miral Al Ashry
Associate Professor, Department of Journalism
Modern University for Technology and Information (MTI)
Media Advisor at International Federation of African Women
Cairo, Egypt
Tel: +0201222674849
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: August 20, 2018; Accepted Date: September 26, 2018; Published Date: October 03, 2018

Citation: Miral Al Ashry. The Conflict between Journalists and the Constitution of 2014 in Egypt. Global Media Journal 2018, 16:31.

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The main topic of the study revolves around the revolution of the 25th January 2011, during the first transition phase and the second transition phase up to the 30th June 2013. Egyptian society committed to develop the Constitution to support the rights and freedoms of journalists. In addition, the methodological of the study included a survey research which was conducted over a sample of 150 subject unit. This study focused on the second Constitution Egypt in 2014 included in its provisions articles regarding freedom of expression, access to information, and the media. Article 65 guarantees freedom of thought, opinion, and the expression thereof. Article 68 declares that all official state documents and information are the property of the people who have the right to access such materials in a timely and transparent manner. Articles 70, 71, and 72 focuses on governing the press, providing for many of the rights that support a free media environment. They guarantee the freedom of the print, broadcast, and digital sectors enshrine the right to establish media outlets ban all forms of media censorship, including the suspension and closure of outlets, ban prison terms for press crimes, and declare the independence and neutrality of all state-owned media outlets. The Constitution also calls for the establishment of independent regulatory bodies tasked with supporting and developing both private and state-owned media and administering all relevant regulations. To sum up, and to answer the question about what the conflict between journalists and the Constitution are, we find that, whereas, there are laws in place for the protection of journalists, these laws are not being implemented. It seems the regime government is persecuting journalists in an unprecedented way, and is demolishing freedom of speech in Egypt. This conflict did not end until after the true democratization not by laws, but by modifying and repairing government corruption.


Conflict; Democratization; Democratic transition; Egypt constitution


Egyptian politics have opened and shifted tremendously in the past few years, the protests in early 25 January 2011 marked a significant transition in this country’s history, not only in terms of regime change but also in terms of strong and popular political protests. The Egyptian protesters' grievances focused on legal and political issues, including police brutality, state-of-emergency laws, lack of free elections and freedom of speech, corruption, and economic issues. The protesters' primary demands were the end of the Mubarak regime and emergency law, freedom, justice, a responsive non-military government and a voice in managing Egypt's resources. These protests were part of a notable trend in the Arab world [1].

Journalism in the Egypt has suffered for decades from blatant interference by governments and the effect of totalitarian and corrupt political regimes, which see controlling media as a crucial requirement to extend their ability to exercise power over their nations. This certainly has a negative impact on the freedom of the press in the region, which in turn has made Egypt one of the few regions which has “the least press freedom” [2]. So that, Egyptian journalism, after uprising 2011, searches for a ‘new kind of journalism’ that would be credible, after the Constitution journalists were subject to two opposing trends, one trend was repressive, marked by retention of the old government-controlled press and broadcasting structures, journalists were not permitted to criticize government policies. Thus, journalists became at the disposal of the government and their job was to favor and foster the state’s achievements [3]. The second trend with laws and intimidation had obstructed professional behavior and driven many journalists abroad, where they worked to diverse standards of autonomy and objectivity [4].

Additionally, the Egyptian journalism scene witnessed a number of parallel, though contradictory, phenomena. The first was authoritarianism versus resistance. While governmental hegemony and control were widely exercised in the political domain without genuine political participation and with the media, many alternative, resistant voices were creating their own journalism as platforms to express their political thoughts and oppositional views [5].

Another coexisting phenomenon was public versus private journalism ownership. State ownership was still the pattern in major Egyptian journalism outlets. Egyptian radio and TV are controlled by the Egyptian government. However, in the past few years, one sees the development of private Egyptian satellite stations. Egyptian print media can be divided into the following categories, Owned by the Egyptian government, Governmental. These publications are not owned by the Egyptian government, but since the Egyptian president appoints the head of the Shura Council (Senate) who is also, de facto, the head of the Higher Press Council that appoints the chair and board of directors of many publishing houses in Egypt, government influence is very strong. Belonging to an Egyptian opposition party [6].

Finally, a closely related phenomenon was the coexistence of an official sphere versus a popular sphere, with official mainstream views, representing the governmental policies and positions, and the paradox signified the large divide between s governmental institutions and their controlled journalism government [7].

In other words, contrary to the predicted path to democratization in most comparative media literature, that is mainly because, the main economic, media, political, and social structures in society did not witness fundamental changes; an active and vibrant civil society was not already in place, and a process of comprehensive political, economic, and social change was not underway. On 3 July 2013, the Constitution was suspended by order of the Egyptian army. On 8 July 2013, acting President Adly Mansour issued a decree that envisaged the introduction of amendments to the Constitution and put them to a referendum; if approved, the suspended-Constitution would be restored into law. The current constitutional declaration has the power of a constitution; it outlines the authorities of the president and establishes many rights of articles that support journalism and Freedom of expression [8].

Literature Review

Constitutional and legal framework

The relationship between journalists and politics complicated efforts to develop a constitutional and legal framework especially through articles that support journalists, for the post-revolution Egyptian state. During different stages of the transitional phase, this led to results that are dangerously misaligned with the principles of democracy and citizenship [9].

After the overthrow of President Mursi on 3 July, the interim President Mansour issued on 7 July a constitutional declaration laying out a new process of constitution-making. On this basis as committee of 10 legal experts prepared recommendations for constitutional change to prepare the ground for an appointed 50-member Constituent Assembly [10].

Regarding this substantial democracy, the Egyptian Constitution of 2014 has illustrated Egypt as a democratic state. The Constitution clearly describe the substantial democracy that addresses the basic rights and freedoms, freedom of the press, protection from violence, etc. are some of rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Egyptian Constitution. It means that these Constitutions have guaranteed human rights values and supported journalists [11]. Haynes argues that the development of a democratization process cannot be separated from these four stages:

• Political liberalization;

• The collapse of the non-democratic regime;

• Democratic transition and;

• Democratic consolidation [12].

The democratic transition with a new Constitution adopted in January 2014 contained a number of press freedom guarantees, but these were undermined by important exceptions as well as existing legal restrictions that remained in effect [10]. In practice, the authorities sought to purge the media of any critical voices. Journalists also faced violence when covering protests during two transitions stage there are many articles in the Constitution support journalists according to freedom of expression, access to information.

For example, Article (65) "Freedom of thought and opinion is guaranteed. Every person shall have the right to express his/her opinion verbally, in writing, through imagery, or by any other means of expression and publication". Article (68) "Information, data, statistics and official documents are the property of the People and the disclosure thereof from their various sources is a right guaranteed by the State for all citizens. The State is committed to provide and make them available to citizens in a transparent manner. The Law shall regulate the rules for obtaining them and terms for their availability and confidentiality; the rules for their deposit and storage; and the rules for and filing complaints against the refusal to provide them. The Law shall also impose penalties for withholding information or deliberately providing wrong information. The State institutions shall deposit official documents with the National Library and Archives once they are no longer in use. The State institutions shall also protect, and secure such documents against loss or damage, as well as restoring and digitizing them using all modern means and instruments according to the Law" [13].

In addition, there are many articles govern the journalism, for example, Article (70) "Freedom of the press, printing and paper, visual, audio and electronic publication is guaranteed. Every Egyptian - whether being natural or legal, public or private person – shall have the right to own and issue newspapers and establish visual, audio and digital media outlets. Newspapers may be issued once notification is given as regulated by Law. The Law shall regulate the procedures of establishing and owning visual and radio broadcast stations and online newspapers". Article (71) "It is prohibited to censor, confiscate, suspend or shut down Egyptian newspapers and media outlets in any way. By way of exception, they may be subject to limited censorship in times of war or general mobilization. No freedom restricting penalty shall be imposed for publication or publicity crimes. As for crimes related to the incitement of violence, discrimination between citizens, or impingement of individual honor, the Law shall stipulate the penalties there for". Article (72) "The State shall ensure the independence of all State-owned press institutions and media outlets, in a manner ensuring their neutrality and presentation of all political and intellectual opinions and trends as well as social interests and also guaranteeing equality and equal opportunities in addressing public opinion" [13].

The conflict came between journalists and government with the decline of press freedom and Egypt was mentioned among the world’s ten worst rated countries which restrict press freedom, and the governments weaken the existing laws and regulations like the Egyptian Penal Code imposes prison sentences for offenses considered criminal. The vague formulation of these legal provisions makes them powerful tools to silence dissenting voices in the media and all other channels of expression. After the second transition stage that brought a tough autocratic regime back into power, the debate on professional journalism is not relevant anymore even for journalists because of the lack of an independent press, poor access of citizens to fair and unbiased information. As a result of this, practically all media platforms support the military institution and call for repressive measures against their political opponents and different kinds of repression against Egyptian journalists.

On the other hand, a part from political obstacles, journalism in Egypt suffers from social, cultural, economic and professional difficulties as well. When discussing the cultural obstacles, we must address the differences between the different cultures regarding the concept of the freedom of the press and the differences in the practicing of journalistic ethics worldwide compared to maintaining privacy [14].

Unfortunately, the governments have exploited privacy protection which is entrenched in Egypt culture to limit freedom of the press. In regards to the social constraints, the religious and ethnic intolerance which exists among some groups led to the existence of a media climate that lacks objectivity and impartiality.

In addition, economic obstacles are not less important than other barriers, the hard economic situation faced by media firms and journalists, made it easy for governments to control the media landscape and to force their conditions in front of media figures support government [15].

Nowadays journalists depend on digital communications, as well as the widespread use of internet at the beginning of the new millennium, all contributed to the stimulation of the Arab peoples in general and journalists in particular, to confront the government oppressive laws. As time passed, the consciousness of the Egyptian peoples about their political and civil rights has increased due to the significant role which has been played by communication technologies in informing people and exposing them to the experiences of others [16].

Journalists and the Conflict

Conflict zones and post-conflict situations can be a formidable task. Whether it is a war, a low-intensity conflict or an armed insurgency, researchers must tread carefully and show sensitivity while engaging with individuals and communities affected by conflict. While conducting research to various conflict or postconflict areas [17]. whether international or local, the media has got a crucial role to play. Given that in wartime there are practically no operational civil society organizations to control public authorities and armed forces, journalists become the main (if not the only) source of unbiased and objective information. As a result, a lot of journalist’s today practice military journalism - a dangerous occupation that requires being in the center of events connected with deaths, violence, and risk to their own lives. An international organization “Committee to Protect Journalists” keeps sad statistics on media professionals killed on duty [18].

In the conflict process, particular aspects of Egyptian reality are highlighted a conflict between journalists and governments [19]. The specific application of conflict when the journalists cover the protests in political news are defined as news frames that “emphasize conflict between individuals, groups, or institutions as a means of capturing audience interest against government” [20]. A conflict can consist of disagreement, tension between different sides, through press freedoms, freedom of speech and freedom of information circulation incompatibility between viewpoints, and politicians attacking each other in the media because the journalists want freedoms without repressive regimes [21]. These are nightmarish times for those working in the news media. Journalists are being killed at an unacceptable and unprecedented rate. Indeed, they are more likely, some say, to be killed in the line of duty than are members of the armed forces [22]. Journalists have become targets because of the complex role they play during conflict situations. ‘In war time, media are not mere observers but simultaneously a source of intelligence, a combatant, a weapon, a target, and a battlefield [23]. Conflict is considered an integral part of the political process, as it is central to a properly functioning democracy [24]. Journalists are influential for a considerable number of aspects of political life to the citizens, for instance, negatively affect support for policies [25], but also have a positive impact on turnout because the government is afraid of journalists to publish any news against regimes [26], and lead to more balanced thoughts about issues [27]. Indeed, exposure to conflict between the government and journalists may lead citizens to realize what is at stake and why political decision making is important [28].

Nowadays, “Newspapers are really one of the most indispensable vehicles of information dissemination” [29]. In Egypt, there are many news portals and websites, such as Masrawy, the biggest and the first news portal in Egypt and North Africa, and Al-Ahram, the largest and oldest news organization in Egypt and the Middle East. According to the last update on 4 May 2018, there are 68 newspapers owned mostly or in some way by the government and issued on a regular basis, including 57 newspapers in Arabic, nine in English and two in French. All are subjects to the law governing journalistic work in Egypt. The Egyptian Ministry of Information, as well as the State Information Service (SIS), is responsible for all matters and issues relating to the mass media and the organization of journalism in Egypt [30]. That is why the government is afraid of the journalists because they have a great influence on the citizens. Accordingly, governments built a new environment starting with changing the Constitution; however, the journalists thought that those governments support the media.

After the Constitution of 2014, restrictions against the media institutions, journalist opposition, and activism increased. Once again, the Egyptian press came under scrutiny and control. Examples of these restrictions are the closure of channels that opposed the coup, the arrest and imprisonment of activists and political opponents. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 12 journalists were behind bars in Egypt [31].

In addition, the “Journalists have become threatened everywhere and constraints are being forced upon them in practicing their duty to transmit the real picture; in addition, to prevent them from reaching information normally.” The Journalists Against Torture Observatory in 2014 has stated that 674 violations were committed against journalists. The highest rate of violations consisted of preventing journalistic coverage (179 incidents), followed by arrest and detainment of journalists (173), then assault (148), and 57 cases of threatening or verbal assault. Other violations included 31 incidents of confiscating equipment, one murder case, three harassment cases and two incidents of degrading security checks. Cairo came first with the highest rate of violations, 429, followed by 67 in Giza and 27 in Alexandria.

Moreover, Online Media journalists were subjected to the highest rate of violations, with 211 cases, followed by 181 cases concerning journalists working at private newspapers, and two cases of journalists working at foreign newspapers, according to journalistic parties, ten according to official parties and one case by human rights groups [32]. The second quarter in 2017, the ratio decreasing concerning the victims of the aforementioned violations, the association documented 10 offences against journalists, 5 against photographers, 2 against media workers, and 10 other violations [33].

Meanwhile, the association also documented 75 transgressions against websites, 3 against television channels, and 3 against newspapers; at the level of violations, 56 cases of violations against victims because of their use of social networks and the internet, including 55 cases in which Egyptian users were subjected to security and judicial persecution because of their digital activity, in addition to one administrative investigation. The organization also documented the blocking of more than 100 of sites exceeded the hundred, and the number is constantly increasing the block of 113 sites. However, it should be noted that the number is increasing and until the issuance of this report the number increased to at least 124 sites [34].

Research Questions

The researcher was guided by the four following research questions:

• What is the reality of the press freedoms in Egypt after the new Constitution of 2014?

• Do journalists agree with the article on the constitution? Or not and way?

• What is the obstacles and challenges faced by journalists in Egypt?

• What is the extent of violations against journalists?



The study aims to the conflict between Journalists and the Constitution in Egypt 2014. This conflict starts after the revolution of 25th January 2011, during the first transition phase and the second transition phase, up to the 30th June 2013.

Close scrutiny of the existing literature has demonstrated a gap in this particular issue about the Egyptian society committed to the development the Constitution supporting the rights and freedoms to journalists. Due to such a gap, there are many laws referred to the Constitution but they are not implemented in Egypt. For example, Freedom of information law which is existed in the Egyptian Constitution without any sort of implementation.

The present research will provide a deep insight into a significantly neglected area of Egyptian journalism and will thus bring to the fore a number of crucial issues which need to be addressed to reinforce press freedom in Egypt.

Mixed methods strategy

In this study, in order to meet the aim of the research about the conflict in Egypt a combination of qualitative (semi-structured interviews, desk research), and quantitative (analysis survey) research methods were employed in order to generate as rich a data set as possible. According to Bryman [35], the term ‘mixed strategy research’ is about combining quantitative and qualitative research. As Denscombe [36] states, different kinds of data can be produced by adopting a mixed method approach. As a result, more data can be generated which should improve the quality of the research, enabling the researcher to investigate the phenomena from different angles, and thus gain a more thorough understanding of the research topic in question.

Desk research

Desk research was conducted in order to gather data on the development of scientific activity in Egypt, and to understand the role of the journalism institutions, in promoting and developing research. A range of government reports to shows the violence directed against journalists, and reports on press freedoms in the Constitution and various documents in the archive of the journalism where perused, to gain an understanding of the context for scientific communication in Egypt. Information found through desk research was supplemented by that gathered from interviews with journalists, as discussed below.


Semi-structured interviews were conducted with journalists interviews allowed flexibility in eliciting information from the informants [35]. And made it possible for the researcher to probe and prompt the interviewee to dig deeper into their streams of experience [37]. Once a rapport was established, the interviews took the form of a conversation between colleagues, and the journalists were able to collect rich data.

The interview schedule was first informally piloted with researchers, and then developed and piloted in both English and formal Arabic. And the sample of the study is divided into a survey research with deep interview was conducted on a sample of 150 journalists divided into three different categories:

• 50 journalists from government newspapers.

• 50 journalists from partisan newspapers

• 50 journalists from private newspapers.

In this research, semi-structured interviews used to allow participants to present their perception and interpretation about the situation of journalism after the Constitution.

Findings of the Study

The findings of this study are organized based on the order of the items listed in the questionnaire. They are also handled in terms of answers to the five research questions (Figure 1).


Figure 1: The Reality of the press freedom after the Constitution of 2014.

With the unprecedented rise of democracy worldwide, it is becoming increasingly evident that the newly emerging democracies differ from their Western, established counterparts in significant ways. The ‘global divergence of democracy’ this is reflected in press freedoms [38], the reality of the freedom press after Constitution of 2014 was bad with (42,2%), then the ratio all most the well.

The journalists said after the Constitution that Egypt has one of the worst levels of press freedom.

Is mainly seen as deviance the newly emerging forms and practices might be functional and legitimate in their own right and context. In order to understand the way in which democracy and press freedom is understood and practiced in emerging democracies, as a result of the circumstances experienced by Egypt as a result of revolutions and terrorism the situation can be bad as governments fear freedoms of journalists, and this results in an adverse effect on further terrorism.

Do journalists agree with the article on the Constitutions? Yes or no and way?

In the constitution, there are many Articles that support freedom of press and journalists, for example, Articles (70, 71, and 72 ( its govern the press, providing for many of the rights, that support a free media environment, and guarantee the freedom of the print, broadcast, and digital sectors (Figure 2).


Figure 2: Do journalists agree with the Article (70)?

Article 70, guarantees the freedom of the print, broadcast, and digital sectors; enshrine the right to establish media outlets, ban all forms of media censorship.

The journalists agree with this Article with percentage 42% from national newspapers. Then, the percentage dramatically decreased by 10% from journalists in the privet newspaper, most of journalists from private newspaper disagree with this article with ratio 30% because this Article focused on how we can publishing new newspaper according to the state ideology, so that this Article support the government (Figure 3).


Figure 3: Do journalists agree with the Article (71)?

The given illustration represents the information about “Article (71)” the journalists said, the situation was very bad with ratio (54%, 44% and 52%) in the same time the committee of the Egyptian Constitution, disagreed with this article. But, the 50th Committee agreed with one vote to accept this article in the Constitution”. Because they focused on the authorizes media censorship “in times of war or general mobilization. This means, the government controls journalistic legislation which enables political influence.

Actually, the Constitution includes several articles that can be used to imprison journalists. The journalists disagreed about this article because it will open the door to arrest journalists; especially the government put definition like "crimes related to incitement to violence or discrimination between citizens".

So that, the conceptions of democratization in Egypt are very difficult, due to the transition processes in post-authoritarian societies. The government want to institutionalization of independent media in emerging democracies, If ‘democracy’ and ‘press freedom are viewed as a contested and to some extent unstable concept, in Egypt anchored through the invocation of practical knowledge and a deliberative filter of collective deliberation, then democratization and establishing a free press, added by authors, can only come about through a lengthy process of social construction that is bound to be relatively open-ended (Figure 4) [39].


Figure 4: Do journalists agree with the Article (72)?

The journalists agreed about this Article, the highest percentage with governmental newspapers by 58.0%, then the percentage slowly decreased and almost the same with 42% between private newspapers and party journalists.

This means that media institutions and practices of press freedom in new democracies that emerge from these articles might appear imperfect and flawed. Moreover, political leaders with authoritarian ambitions frequently use arguments or strict laws about the limitations in Egypt’ democracy as a pretext for imposing extensive restrictions and controls on the media.

Press freedom can be a potential threat to the consolidation of government newspapers, Partisan newspapers and Private newspapers, they are also a necessity. For new institutions and norms to become legitimate, they have to be ‘domesticated’ through a process of adaptation and integration into local value systems and customs, for an example of Constitution building in Africa [40]. Far from undermining democratic ideals, the domestic anchoring of norms is a precondition for the consolidation of a viable democracy. Indeed, without their conceptual ambiguity and flexibility, democratic norms, like press freedom. But, the resulting conceptions and practices of press freedom constitute a kind of hybridity that extends beyond the dichotomy of democratic versus authoritarian politics. Instead, providing press freedom with local meaning is a way of taking ownership of an otherwise abstract and intangible ideal (Table 1) [41].

Table 1: The obstacles points in the Egyptian Constitution of 2014.

The obstacles The journalists disagree The journalists disagree and agree The journalists agree
Type of the newspapers Private Partisan government Private Partisan government Private Partisan government
In the Article 71 there are definitions about the human trafficking 3 3 6 15 14 19 32 33 25
The Constitution focused on ,how we can develop new media but they ignored the newspaper crisis 16 7 12 19 23 25 15 20 13
32.00% 14.00% 24.00% 38.00% 46.00% 50.00% 30.00% 40.00% 26.00%
The Constitution didn’t look at the discriminate against partisan newspaper crises. But they focused on journalists in state-owned enterprises 8 14 13 17 17 19 25 19 18
16.00% 28.00% 26.00% 34.00% 34.00% 38.00% 50.00% 38.00% 36.00%
The Constitution doesn’t focused on laws to guarantees the information accuracy information 8 12 8 22 27 22 20 11 20
16.00% 24.00% 16.00% 44.00% 54.00% 44.00% 40.00% 22.00% 40.00%
The Constitution has articles that “still wants to arrest journalist". 15 12 14 17 17 24 18 21 12
30.00% 24.00% 28.00% 34.00% 34.00% 48.00% 36.00% 42.00% 24.00%
The closure all newspaper institutions and they did not think about their establishment, especially imposing any kind of restrictions on the press 5 3 6 15 12 15 30 35 29
10.00% 6.00% 12.00% 30.00% 24.00% 30.00% 60.00% 70.00% 58.00%
Not to adjust the relationship between journalists and the institutions they belong to, opens the door in the future to waste the rights of journalists. 4 4 6 19 17 15 27 29 29
8.00% 8.00% 12.00% 38.00% 34.00% 30.00% 54.00% 58.00% 58.00%

The results of the table indicate that there are some obstacles in the articles of the constitution.

Firstly, the journalists from private and party newspapers support Article (71 ) prohibits a number of acts that fall within the scope of what is known as human trafficking, such as slavery and forced labor with percentage 64.0% and 66.0%. Because, the same article avoids prohibiting other forms of trafficking such as marriage, which can be remedied by providing for the prohibition of human trafficking in all its forms stipulated in Egypt's international obligations. But, the journalists from national newspapers agree with 12.0%.

Secondly, in the constitution, the interest in the new media individuals and institutions in the launch of websites, blogs, newspapers, radio and television online as soon as the notification, like the paper press. The journalists from national newspapers agree in comparison to those who disagree from party newspapers by 14.0%.

Thirdly, the 2014 Constitution did not look at and discriminate against the crises of the party newspapers. Most of its attention focused on journalists in state-owned enterprises. The journalists from national and party newspapers agree with ratio 36.0% and 38.0%, while 16.0% from the party newspapers.

Fourth, the Constitution did not address the disclosure and transparency guarantees, the journalists from the national and private newspapers agree with percentage 54.0% through the financing and management of the media, which is very important because most newspapers and satellite channels do not disclose their sources of funding, spending and investment. Many public and religious satellite channels do not broadcast ads! or broadcast a limited amount of advertising, and its income is not commensurate with its ability to continue, which raises legitimate doubts about the sources of funding and the nature of persons or entities that funded, whether internal or external, and thus these channels serve the interests and objectives of financiers, political and religious money dominates the media.

The same phenomenon is found in most of the private newspapers, where some are distributed a few thousand and yet issued regularly, they give the staff wages and salaries that are higher than their colleagues in the national newspapers; we find that the Constitution did not take into account this problem.

Fifthly, one of the weak points is to maintain the possibility of imprisonment. Journalists answered that this should be within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council for Organizing the Media, not the judiciary. The answer was agreed upon in the party newspapers while the answer was not agreed upon in the national and private newspapers was 30.0%, 28.0%.

Finally, the journalists focused on canceling all bodies and not starting to establish them, especially imposing any kind of restrictions on the press. The answer was accepted in the party newspapers by 70.0% due to the need to subject anybody to be established for financial control and determine sources of funding and expenditure. In the national and party newspapers by 12.0%, 10.0% because there is no text in the Constitution on the sources of funding the state media, how to develop them, and linking the increase of these sources to inflation, provided that the state media represents society, independent of the executive authority, legislation.

The most recent point of weakness was the failure to control the relationship between journalists and their institutions, which opens the door to further wasting the rights of journalists. The answer was approved in the national and party newspapers at 58.0% and the proportion of party and private newspapers was 8.0% (Figure 5).


Figure 5: The obstacles to practicing journalism after the second transitional period.

The results of the graph showed the instability of the society after President Adly Mansour took the reins by 80.7%. This raises the potential challenges facing the changes in the Egyptian political scene after the July 3rd decisions of the army, most notably the re-integration of the Muslim Brotherhood into political life. Weakened the state apparatus and weakened all press organizations to practice journalism.

Secondly, the ratio of censorship by the policy of the newspaper (the editor-in-chief of the editorial and editorial policy of the newspaper and the ideological trends) was 54.0% and 54.7%. The existence of a press policy is responsible for the freedom of expression in the newspapers in the society that is committed to its responsibility towards society, Therefore, the journalist firmly believes that he is responsible for everything issued by him, and therefore the employment of freedom of expression in the media will be positive to achieve the interests, the responsibility of liberal regimes for freedom of expression is almost nonexistent except for some of the laws and regulations relating to attacks on others, which the media do their utmost to limit or overcome. Many of them are merely press codes of honor that are not binding and disappear or disappear when they contradict the main objective of freedom of expression in the press.

Thirdly, the national pressures that affect the policy of the newspaper not to publish the topics. The lowest percentage of the deterioration of the media situation was during Mohamed Morsi's rule, which weakened the freedom of the press and the national and private newspapers, respectively, reached 40.0%, 42.0% of the total 39.3%. As media freedom was limited during President Morsi's rule, on the information, it deliberately transfers the news to the citizen, and put different views on this news, which contributes to the creation of a knowledge-based dialogue based on opinion and opinion to transfer the image to different viewers, both according to his beliefs, ideas and ideology.

However, the tone of hostility towards the press has increased in the recent past and the media have taken responsibility for what is happening at home the picture of some media professionals and the charges against them before the judiciary, but it came to the submission of more than a thousand judges against some journalists, as well as the siege of the headquarters of civilian media production and the assault on some journalists (Table 2).

Table 2: Journalists were harassed after activating the Constitution of 2014.

Journalists were harassed after activating the 2014 constitution Type of the newspapers Total
Private newspaper Party newspaper Government newspaper
They were harassed 29 32 29 90
58.00% 64.00% 58.00% 60.00%
They were not harassed 21 18 21 60
42.00% 36.00% 42.00% 40.00%
Total 50 50 50 150
100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

The journalists said, the governments are force pressure and harassment of journalists by 60.00% (Table 3).

Table 3: Type of harassment of journalists after the restructuring of the constitution.

Type of harassment Type of the newspapers Total
Private newspaper Party newspaper Government newspaper
Arbitrary dismissal 11 9 6 26
37.90% 28.10% 20.70% 28.60%
Arrests 6 7 4 17
20.70% 21.90% 13.80% 18.90%
Imprisonment 3 6 4 13
10.30% 18.80% 13.80% 14.40%
Killed 2 4 4 10
6.90% 12.50% 13.80% 11.10%
Transfer from one department to another 5 6 8 19
17.20% 18.80% 27.60% 21.10%
Journalists do not receive their salaries 4 4 6 14
13.80% 12.50% 20.70% 15.60%
Total 29 32 29 90

The results show that the journalists responded that they were harassed by 60.0%. There is no statistically significant relationship with the value of CHI2being 0.500 at a level greater than 0.05, meaning that there is no relationship between journalists' exposure to harassment and their press affiliations. The table shows that more than half the sample of journalists was harassed, In terms of forms of harassment, in the first rank, arbitrary dismissal was recorded in the private press with 37.9% of the total 28.9%, as they are the most journalists to deal with thorny topics such as political issues and corruption issues that the community goes through after the transitional period.

The percentage of the national newspapers was 27.6%, the lowest percentage was the killing rate of 11.1%, and the percentage of the national newspapers with the party, respectively, was 13.8%, 12.5%.

According to a report by the Defenders of Media Freedom Network in the Arab World ( through the decline in freedom of the press in 2014, when the persecution of critical journalists under President Mohamed Morsi was overturned in the middle of the year when he was ousted and a crackdown on the news media loyal to Mursi, and after the adoption of the Constitution of 2014, killed at least 6 journalists, placing Egypt in third place after Syria and Iraq in terms of killing journalists, as well as the arrest of dozens of journalists, and detained for a short period at least, Which are exercised by the State, N journalists assaulted and exposed 11 media news to break into EST, the commission has documented the arrest of at least 44 journalists.

Discussions and Conclusion

The Egyptian revolution revealed that the gap between the increasing margin of press freedom and the slim margin of political freedom and democratic practice is starting to narrow because of a spillover from the realm of virtual activism into real activism, and vice versa.

But first, it should be stated at the outset that many of the constitutional reforms in the region since 2011 should be considered authoritarian liberalizations rather than real experiments with democracy. Early work on the new wave of constitutionalism has focused on polarization and inclusion, arguing that inclusive processes result in more governmentconstraining documents [42].

After 2014, the government sought to incorporate Egyptian media managers, editors, and journalists in campaigns to promote transparency and accountability at a corporate level. But fear of further harassment by military regimes underlined the message of those calling on international donors to provide legal aid and enduring moral support.

The interview material of this study casts new light on how journalists in emerging democracies interpret press freedom. The journalists said, Egypt’s new Constitution should feed into media law reform to end control over journalism by the executive branch of government, ruling party, state intelligence, and security forces. Because the country is undergoing a postrevolutionary, transitional stage that can safeguard freedom of expression and freedom of the press. The exact form and pace of this transitional stage, however, cannot be easily predicted in light of the current rapid developments in both the political and communicative landscapes in Egypt.

Furthermore, the journalists said, media law reform should end criminal sanctions for journalists and bloggers whose work subjects the actions and policies of public figures and officials to critical scrutiny.

Also, the journalists said, the role of legacy media, especially local and regional Arabic newspapers and television channels, also needs greater scrutiny. It is not surprising to find that legacy media controlled by autocracies took a pro-regime stance. The journalists said, after post-transitional, the dramatic political and social changes of democratization have triggered an intense and often highly controversial debate about the meaning of press freedom and the responsibilities. This might involve with regard to journalistic practice. However, debates about press freedom are not just debates about norms and ideals.

With access to the public arena, being a crucial source of power in Egyptian democratic politics, issues of press freedom have been at the center of second post-transitional power struggles between old and new political forces, government and opposition, state and civil society.

In addition, the justification of press freedom as a safeguard for a healthy democracy gives journalists self-confidence and even a sense of mission. Thus leading to new forms of journalistic practice. For example, the responsibilities that come with freedom are a dominant aspect of how journalists in Egypt of our sample understand their role in society. The press is seen as having a pro-active role to play in advancing democratic transformation, guiding and educating society and promoting justice. However, there are also striking differences between government that reflect the political and social circumstances of the society in which journalists operate, such as external threats, social inequalities, political imbalances or historical experiences. Without denying many problems of journalism in post-transitional democracies, of the recommendations to journalists, The huge media operations currently under government control should be split into coherent, manageable, independent units run.

Core production units should be put into public ownership with a public service mandate. Regional journalism should be promoted through decentralization of regional channels spun off from the state broadcaster and sustainable development of local radio and press.


Studying press freedom and Constitution in Egypt using a mixed method will contribute to understanding Arab Spring impact on journalism in more depth. I would suggest applying a survey method to gain quantitative data from different groups of Egyptian society; audiences, activists, and freedoms monitoring organizations about press freedom situation before and after Arab Constitution. Moreover, I would recommend focusing on studying how improvement and establishment of strong civil institutions would be reflected on increasing press freedom and the role of the Journalists Syndicate and the National Press Agency, which now issues new laws to protect journalists. I believe that may be after few years the image will be much clearer as the outcomes of such new laws especially the social ones will not appear within the few years passed after these revolutions and changing societies.


The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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