Al-Masry Al-Youm (Arabic: المصرى اليوم al-Maṣrī l-Yawm, IPA: [elˈmɑsˤɾi lˈjoːm], meaning The Egyptian Today) is an Egyptian privately owned daily newspaper that was first published in June 2004. It is published in Arabic as is its website, almasryalyoum.com. An English version of the website was introduced in 2009 as the Al-masry Al-youm English Edition, which later evolved into Egypt Independent. It strives to be a full-service multimedia news organization for Egypt.
Typical Al-Masry Al-Youm front page.
|Owner(s)||Al-Masry Al-Youm for Journalism and Publication|
|Founded||7 June 2004|
|Headquarters||Garden City, Cairo, Egypt|
|Website||http://www.almasryalyoum.com (in Arabic) |
History and profileEdit
The newspaper was founded in late 2002 by Salah Diab, an Egyptian businessman whose grandfather (Tawfik Diab) was one of Egypt's most renowned publishers in the 1930s and 1940s. Hisham Kassem is also a founder of Al Masry Al Youm. In 2004, its establishment was finalized, and on 7 June 2004, it published its first edition. The publisher of the daily is Al-Masry Al-Youm for Journalism and Publication.
The paper has a liberal leaning. It initially circulated primarily amongst Cairo's intellectual elite, providing objective news coverage in the belief that good news would beat sensationalist reporting found in other Egyptian print media. It has been said that the paper's launch "helped inaugurate a new opening for independent media in Egypt.". The 2005 circulation of the daily was 50,000 copies. After 3 three years, it was challenging Al-Ahram for the status of being the national paper of record. As of 2009 it was regarded as the most influential newspaper in Egypt.
It has successfully responded to the Egyptian media market as a whole and not a single political party, like many Egyptian opposition papers, and was unafraid to take on hard-hitting topics, like governmental news outlets. Further, it harnessed the energy of young journalists, giving them incentives to produce good work.
2011 Gaza Aid Flotilla InitiativeEdit
In July, 2011, Al Masry Al Youm publicized its initiative to host the Freedom Flotilla 2 in Egypt and to have the flotilla's ships sail for Gaza from an Egyptian port. The flotilla's ships were stalled in Greece after Greek authorities refused to let them sail. The paper reported that flotilla activists welcomed the paper's initiative to sail from Egypt. The French ship Dignité Al Karama was the only ship in the flotilla that managed to approach Gaza. It turned towards Gaza after publicly announcing that its destination was the port of Alexandria, before being intercepted by Israeli commandos and escorted to the Israeli port of Ashdod. Al Masry Al Youm reported at the time that a source among the flotilla's activists said to the paper that "the ship will reach the port of Alexandria to refuel, in response to the invitation of Al Masry Al Youm, and after that it will proceed to one of the Mediterranean ports, and from there directly to Gaza, challenging all of the threats that Israel has issued."
Accusations of Self-CensorshipEdit
On 1 December 2011, the chief editor of Al-Masry Al-Youm objected to and ultimately censored a print issue of Egypt Independent, Al-Masry's weekly English-language newspaper supplement that was launched in November, 2011. The second issue of Egypt Independent was to carry an opinion piece by Robert Springborg, a political scientist and expert on Egyptian civil-military relations, that was critical of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that had ruled Egypt since the February, 2011 departure of former president Housni Mubarak. Springborg and the Egypt Independent staff collaborated to alter the offending sections in the opinion piece, however the second issue of the supplement was nevertheless prevented from being published. Professor Springborg was himself accused of being a "conspirator against Egypt’s stability" on 7 December 2011 Arabic-language edition of Al-Masry al-Youm. The self-censorship episode prompted the staff of Egypt Independent to write that "even after 25 January, self-censorship still plagues Egyptian media. As an Egyptian newspaper, we, too, suffer from it. But if self-censorship becomes internalized and goes unquestioned, it becomes an irreversible practice. We refuse to let this happen."
Egypt Independent closureEdit
Egypt Independent was closed by the parent company in April 2013. The final print issue of Egypt Independent which was due to be published on 25 April was withheld by the owners. It was eventually made available in an online digital edition.
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