In an articled titled “Looking to consolidate its influence, Brotherhood takes to the media”, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reports on what is described as the growing “media empire” of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The article begins:
In a spacious newsroom divided by pillars, reporters, focused on their computers, sit at a round table. Around the corner, some colleagues have removed their shoes and lined up for noon prayers. Meanwhile, Mohamed Mostafa, one of the paper’s four managing editors, roams the office in socks and slippers and holding proofs of the next day’s issue. It is one of his busiest days, Mostafa tells Egypt Independent. It is his turn to oversee the production process of the nascent Freedom and Justice, the official newspaper of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP). A year ago, it would have been inconceivable for Egypt’s oldest Islamist organization to openly issue its own daily paper. Now, a year after the outbreak of the January revolution and the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak, the FJP seems poised to dominate the coming parliament. This ascent has been accompanied by the group’s investments in a media empire that they hope will build bridges to a larger audience and bolster the Brotherhood’s political leverage. In recent months, the group has tapped into print and broadcast media by launching a satellite channel in addition to the Freedom and Justice daily. Beyond propaganda? “From day one, the paper’s editorial policy has sought to address all readers,” says 31-year-old Mostafa, who sports a light beard. “The paper is not only the FJP voice and does not only address readers who belong to the Muslim Brotherhood,” explains Mostafa, a founding member of the FJP and a 13-year member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He assures that not all the staff shares his background. “More than 70 percent of those who work at the paper belong neither to the Muslim Brotherhood nor the FJP,” says Mostafa, who used to work for the investigative journalism department at the state-owned newspaper Al-Akhbar.
Read the rest here.