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Monday, October 11, 2010

Al Jazeera thinks I'm an expert in Egyptian politics?

I just got this email:

Hello,

Greetings from London. I hope you are well. This is Gouri and I work at the Listening Post, Al Jazeera's weekly media review show. Our broadcast takes a critical look at global media.

For this week's broadcast we are preparing a report on press freedom in Egypt following the sacking of one of the country's most critical editors Ibrahim Eissa. I came across your blog post and your knowledge of the report would strengthen the analysis of our report. Would you like to take part in the show as a GVV?

If so, you could consider the questions below:

1) Why do editors like Ibrahim Eissa pose such a threat to authorities in Egypt? What is it about their work that bothers them so much?
(2) Is the crackdown on the media now a knee-jerk reaction with the upcoming elections in mind, or is this a trend?
(3) Who is pushing back at the limits of freedom of expression in Egypt? How are they getting away with it?

Alternatively, feel free to formulate your own statement, our only request is that you stay to the media angle of the story. All you would need to do is a record a 30-40 second video clip of your answers. You would need to own or have access to a webcam or camcorder. Record your response (please frame your head and shoulders in the shot and talk directly to the camera) and save it to a .mov or .wmv file. Then upload the file to www.yousendit.com making the recipient address listeningpost@aljazeera.net or you could try and email the file directly
to me.

We are editing this report early this week so our deadline is tomorrow. I appreciate it's short notice but do you think you'd be interested in taking part?

Kind regards,

Gouri
The post I made on the topic didn't even include any editorializing on my part.

Unfortunately, I had to decline my chance to be a video star on Al Jazeera.

Eissa's firing remains a very hot topic in Egypt; I've seen interesting op-eds on the issue but I certainly do not understand all the politics behind it. Even if I wanted to out myself on Al Jazeera!