Friday, April 26, 2013

News Web Site in Egypt Abruptly Shuts Down

Egypt Independent, the country’s premier independent English language news source, ceased publication on Thursday after four years during which its staff chronicled the waning days of the Mubarak regime, the outbreak of revolution in their own country and across the Arab world, military rule and most recently the administration of the first democratically elected Islamist leader of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi.
Investors behind the paper cited financial difficulties as the reason for the closure, but the newspaper’s editorial staff, and many of its supporters, said they suspected a political motive behind the closure of the left-leaning outlet, which has been stridently critical of Mr. Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood-backed political party.
On Thursday, the editorial staff released the final issue on the Web site and as a fully downloadable document on after investors “ordered a last-minute stoppage” of the presses “after scrutinizing the issue’s content,” said the editorial staff in an online statement.
In an essay published on the Web site Tahrir Squared, prominent activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah extolled the paper as a “revolutionary” voice and attacked its closure as a political move meant to silence dissent.
“Today the owners decided to kill the paper, they claim financial trouble, but in reality the big business behind Al Masry Al Youm is no longer interested in a true revolutionary voice,” he wrote.
Egypt Independent had to be killed, you might think that an English paper in Arabic speaking revolutionary Egypt cannot be that dangerous, but where else do you find a paper run by young women? A paper that became home for an amalgam of misfits and radicals without compromising them, no one had to wear a suit, not physical or metaphorical. Hell, even when the editorial team was forced to deal with the business side and prove the paper could be a profit center they did it without compromising on their radicalism.
Staff members of Egypt Independent spoke often of the paper’s “vision,” a term that denoted an institutional commitment to professionalism and civil rights in a country emerging from generations of dictatorship, and where newspapers more often than not serve as mouthpieces for the state, political parties or powerful men.

Egypt Independent 2009-2013

Four years after the birth of Egypt Independent, the management of Al-Masry Media Corporation has informed our editorial team that our print and online news operation is being shut down.
Because we owe it to our readers, we decided to put together a closing edition, which would have been available on 25 April, to explain the conditions under which a strong voice of independent and progressive journalism in Egypt is being terminated.
The management, however, withheld the printing of this edition. While the print house received the final proofs on 23 April, management ordered a last-minute stoppage after scrutinizing the issue’s content. 
In keeping with our practice of critical journalism, we use our final issue to reflect on the political and economic challenges facing Egyptian media, including in our own institution.
Today, we share this final issue with our readers in digital form.
The issue can be reached through this link. Inquiries can be directed to 

This has Morsi written all over it.


Nicoenarg said...

Nah, that can't be. This is the ARAB SPRING! /sarc off!

Christine said...


Spring does eventually turn into winter.

They just skipped over summer and fall which obviously must be halal.

Christine said...

Totally agree with you Pastorius.

Nicoenarg said...

In 2005 when Israel pulled out of Gaza they left behind a flourishing flower "industry". Arabs celebrated that by burning down all the infrastructure in place to support that flower industry. And then they whined about being unemployed.