Egypt

2011

Blog   |   China, Egypt

China limits reporting on Egypt unrest in favor of 'harmony'

Chinese information authorities are filtering results of Chinese-language Internet searches for "Egypt" and "Cairo," according to Global Voices Online and The Wall Street Journal. The unrest raging there could prompt comparison with the student-led protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 or incite anti-government demonstrations.

January 31, 2011 6:01 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Egypt

CPJ demands Egypt halt obstruction, restore Internet, SMS

New York, January 31, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Egyptian government to stop obstructing reporters' work and to immediately return equipment confiscated from Al-Jazeera and other news outlets. Internet and SMS messages services remain disabled and must be restored without delay, CPJ said today. 

Alerts   |   Egypt, Sudan, Yemen

Attacks on journalists in Yemen, Sudan amid street protests

Tawakol Karman, the chairwoman of Women Journalists Without Chains, shouts during an anti-government protest in Sanaa on Saturday. (Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters)
New York, January 31, 2011--Journalists in the Middle East are experiencing increased harassment amid rapidly spreading street protests throughout the region, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ is gravely concerned about reports of attacks against journalists not only in Egypt, as CPJ has previously reported, but also in Yemen and Sudan.

Alerts   |   Egypt

Egypt blocks Al-Jazeera transmissions, orders bureaus shut

New York, January 30, 2011--Nilesat, the satellite transmission company owned by the Egyptian Radio and Television Union and other government agencies, has stopped transmitting the signal of Al-Jazeera's primary channel, the station and others reported today. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the actions of Egyptian authorities to disrupt media coverage by Al-Jazeera and calls on them to reverse the decision immediately. 

January 30, 2011 8:27 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Egypt

Egypt instigates media blackout, police target journalists

Plainclothes police chase what Reuters says is unidentified foreign journalist today in Cairo. (Reuters /Goran Tomasevic )

New York, January 28, 2011--Egyptian authorities have taken unprecedented measures to block media coverage of widespread protests against the government, which are on their fourth day. CPJ condemns Cairo's news blackout and calls for authorities to immediately restore Internet and mobile phone services, end the targeting of the press, and allow media to conduct their work freely. 

Blog   |   Egypt, Internet

Watching Egypt disappear from the Internet

My colleague at CPJ, Mohamed Abdel Dayem, was the first to mail me. "Just a second ago," he wrote, "about 10 contacts of mine all disappeared off instant messaging in unison. That cannot be a coincidence."

January 28, 2011 3:48 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Egypt

Journalists beaten, websites blocked amid protests in Egypt

New York, January 26, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the violence against journalists covering demonstrations in Egypt. Plainclothes and uniformed security personnel have beaten at least 10 journalists between Tuesday and today and detained others. Egyptian authorities have also shut down the websites of two popular independent newspapers and a number of social media sites. 

Blog   |   Egypt

Detained UK reporter records riots in Egypt

Riot police clash with protesters in Cairo today. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

As anti-government demonstrations continue in Cairo, Jack Shenker, a reporter for the U.K. Guardian, has captured some remarkable audio. Shenker, dragged around, punched and abused, was taken into a security truck with protesters on Tuesday night--then he turned on his recorder. He describes how "police have been incredibly violent" and how in the hot, tightly packed truck, several people fainted. Click here to hear his story.

January 26, 2011 1:03 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt, Internet

Preventing video takedowns when reporting

Watching the stream of reporting from Egypt today, I've noticed some unconfirmed reports that videos of the events uploaded to YouTube have been taken down by the company.

I haven't been able to find any concrete examples, so I can't say whether this is true. YouTube takedowns did happen for a few of the more disturbing footage in the Tunisian protests, however, so I thought I'd give some general advice for preventing such removals.

In general, if you're uploading video that includes violence or upsetting imagery, YouTube may remove your content as a simple violation of its Terms of Service and Community Guidelines rather than consider its importance in a wider news context.

In its Community Guidelines, YouTube writes:
"The world is a dangerous place. Sometimes people do get hurt and it's inevitable that these events may be documented on YouTube. However, it's not okay to post violent or gory content that's primarily intended to be shocking, sensational or disrespectful. If a video is particularly graphic or disturbing, it should be balanced with additional context and information. For instance, including a clip from a slaughter house in a video on factory farming may be appropriate. However, stringing together unrelated and gruesome clips of animals being slaughtered in a video may be considered gratuitous if its purpose is to shock rather than illustrate."

What this means is that context is important. When you are using YouTube in your reporting, the best context you can provide is a detailed explanation in the Title, Description and Tags when you upload the video. Your audience may know what is going on because you are linking from your news site or blog, but YouTube's staff will not. Even a link back to your main writing will help.

Most importantly, don't use misleading descriptions or tags in an attempt to get more views. A scene from a street demonstration that is tagged "Lady Gaga" in order to catch a wider audience will simply result in your video being deleted.

Less likely in cases of reporting live events is an accusation of copyright infringement. YouTube does have an automatic content-detection system that can sometimes be triggered by music or movie imagery included in a video. EFF has a detailed document on restoring videos if you think that may be the problem.

If you do have journalistic content taken down by a hosting provider, whether it's video, a blog, or an entire website, do let me know (I'm dobrien at cpj.org, or @danny_at_cpj on Twitter). I can't always help in every case, but sometimes being able to see a trend in takedowns means I can warn these hosts that they're making a mistake - or warn off journalists from depending on their sites.

(Thanks to Jillian York at the Berkman Center for much of the advice in this post. Victoria Grand, YouTube's senior management for communications, spoke at the GlobalVoices Citizen Media Summit last year, and discussed how their takedown process works in some detail, with a particular eye to reporting and activism in countries like Egypt. If you want to know more details, I'd recommend watching the video of her talk.)

January 25, 2011 3:39 PM ET

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2011

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