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Egypt: Debating the Role of the Media in Covering Blogger's Arrest

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

On the 31st of March, journalist and blogger Sarah Carr sent the below tweet asking about the status of Maikel Nabil Sanad's military trial. Blogger Nabil was arrested from his home on 28 March, and he is accused of “insulting the army” as well as publishing [Ar] “false news about the army”.

@Sarahcarr: Is there any news on @MaikelNabil‘s military trial, scheduled to be happening right now?

Meanwhile, many users on Twitter accuse the local media of ignoring Nabil's case, and have started to ask the Egyptian ON-TV host (Yosri Fouda) to shed some light on the case. Fouda then decided to elaborate more on his stance.

@YosriFouda: Plz don't ask me to demand release of anyone. I'm not a judge; I'm a journalist and I don't even know their charges. Fix your country
first.

Carr then decided to debate with Fouda about his role as a TV host.

@Sarahcarr: @YosriFouda U don't have to demand their release. Host someone on yr programme who will.
@Sarahcarr: @YosriFouda It might also be worth finding out the charges against people.

Other users on Twitter joined the debate.

@AmrBassiouny: @Sarahcarr @YosriFouda Yes, we need to at least bring the #MaikelNabil case to light. There is a media blackout about this, why?
@Adham_Mostafa: @YosriFouda When you said:”Fix YOUR country” are you not one of us???

While others couldn't agree more with Fouda

@DrZee01: @YosriFouda Well said , couldn't agree more.
@Neofluxs: @YosriFouda I respect you alot.you're a professional Journalist in a time where this is rare.God bless you :)

Fouda then continued to elaborate more on his stance and the role of the media according to his own point of view.

@YosriFouda: Some thought Jazeera can liberate Jerusalem, some now think ONtv can start a revolution. They can't help if ppl don't help themselves first.
@YosriFouda: That frustration and pressure should be positively directed somewhere else and not at friends

Finally, and away from Yosri Fouda being one of the few TV hosts who have a presence on Twitter, Andre Fares has his own reasons why such heat from Twitter users was directed to Fouda specifically. Fares also clarified that they are criticizing him mainly because they respect him.

@andreasfares: @YosriFouda We respect you. I'm sure you know this. But you also know that we are #ANGRY no one mentions the detainees as if they don't know.

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

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