Experience: Media coverage of terrorism

By Beth Ann Conahan
November 8, 2001

photo by Justine DiFilippo

Professor Hussein Amin spoke to English and communications majors about media coverage of terrorism on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in the Widener Center Lecture Hall.

He began by offering his sympathies on behalf of his home country, Egypt, for the tragedy of Sept. 11.

He gave a brief history of the Egyptian media from the ’50s through today. Television was introduced in his country as a media source in the 1950s. It was the only source and it was heavily censored by the government.

In the 1960s, more sources were introduced but the censorship was still strong.

It was the 1990s when satellite media was introduced and the country really had access to various opinions.

In Egypt, the media and government were tightly bound together for a long time. The media was controlled by the political regime in power at the time. The first step for a regime to come to power was to take control of the media.

In Egypt, the only source to cover the events of Sept. 11 was CNN. While the Egyptian media has come a long way from full censorship and complete control by the political regime in power, it is still not completely free. CNN and the Egyptian government made an agreement about what would be broadcast.

Rumors have been circulating inside Egypt about who is responsible for the events of Sept. 11. Just a few are that President Bush is behind it to assert his power, that China was behind the attack and that Japan did it out of retaliation for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“There are so many things we don’t understand,” Amin said. He thinks the people of Egypt would like to stay informed on the events of the world.

“The media has a responsibility,” Amin said. The media is responsible for respecting human rights and guaranteeing freedom of expression.

To the students, Amin said, “You are the ones who will really make the changes.” Since they are the future of the media, he feels that it is within their control.

In Egypt, Americans were portrayed for a long time as cowboys. “American people are just regular people,” Amin said. The introduction of more sources of media in the 1990s allowed for the country to begin to see more of other countries and cultures.

Students were invited to ask Amin questions before he left. Questions turned to the events of Sept. 11. “In general Muslims and Arabs are committed to peace,” he said. Of the people responsible for the events of Sept. 11, he said, “They are not Muslims. They are terrorists.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Beth Ann Conahan

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap