The Eyes and Ears for the People

Thousands of journalist from TV, Newspapers, Magazines, Websites, and radio descended upon Dallas, TX to Cover Super Bowl 45.  Many have been there for over a week battling only the cold weather.  And later today they will report and show everything that is going on before, during, and after the game in living color and HD.  Many of these journalist will be doing so from the warm cozy press boxes at the covered dome in Dallas.  The biggest danger to be had by the press will be those photographers and videographers on the side line that could be be mowed down by a player being push out of bounce…..  But lets not forget or take for granted those journalist putting their lived on the line to cover the revolution in Egypt right now!!

A member of the press lies on the ground after being attacked by mobs while soldiers surround him in Cairo February 3, 2011. The United States and Britain condemned the intimidation of foreign reporters covering protests against President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday. Picture taken Fenruary 3, 2011. REUTERS/Kyodo (EGYPT -

This Thursday Feb. 3, 2011 photo shows injured Associated Press photographer Khalil Hamra during clashes between anti-government demonstrators and their pro-government supporters in Cairo's Tahrir square, Egypt. The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based media watchdog, said Thursday that it had recorded 24 detentions of journalists, 21 assaults and five cases in which equipment was detained over a 24-hour period. Foreign photographers reported attacks by supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak near Tahrir Square in central Cairo, the focal point of increasingly violent mass demonstrations demanding Mubarak step down after 30 years in power. (AP Photo/Mohammed Abed)

French photojournalist from SIPA Press agency Alfred Yaghobzadeh is being treated by anti-government protestors after being wounded during clashes between pro-government supporters and anti-government protestors, in Cairo's central Tahrir Square, Wednesday Feb. 2, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. The Egyptian military has started Thursday Feb.3, 2011 rounding up journalists, possibly for their own protection, after they came under attack from supporters of President Hosni Mubarak who have been attacking anti-government protesters. (AP Photo)

These journalist,  like the ones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and throughout the world act as the eyes and ears for the world.  They are on the front lines so that most americans can sit and watch, read, or listen to the happening around the world while eating a hot meal in the comforts of there own homes.   So the next time you see or speak to a journalist thank them for the hard and dangerous work they our doing.  THEY ARE WRITING THE FIRST DRAFT OF HISTORY.

Having worked in Egypt as a photojournalist I can tell you first hand that it is not like the US.  There is no freedom of the press.  The police can and do tell you what you can and can not photograph.  I had a not so undercover undercover officer follow me all around Egypt the whole time I was there making sure that I did not photograph “the poor” or anything else that would NOT show Egypt as a great tourist destination. I witnessed first hand the brutality of the state police and was helpless to show it.  And this was in a time of calm and peacefulness.   I can only image how difficult thing are on the ground right now.  When I was there working I was somewhat welcome as a foreign journalist that would show the wonderful sights of Egypt ( barring that I did not photograph the extreme poverty and police brutality).  But with everything going on there now, the regime knows that any journalist on the ground there now is not there to shoot scenic pictures of the pyramids and the markets.   They are there to report to the world what is really going on.   Lets hope and pray for their safety and the safety for all those in Egypt

Journalists in Egypt, especially Cairo are being assaulted, detained, and stripped of there gear.   There is even reports of a journalist, Ahmad Mohamed Mohmoud, being shot and later dyeing after working for the Newspaper Al-Ta’awun.  He was shot by what the newspaper says was sniper fire while filming a clash between security forces and protestors on January 28th.  He died from his wounds on Feb. 4th.

FROM THE COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALIST.. WWW.CPJ.ORG:

In the last 24 hours, CPJ documented another 10 anti-press assaults, 10 detentions, two attacks on newsrooms, and the hacking of a major news website. In all, CPJ has documented at least 101 direct attacks on journalists and news facilities this week, and it’s investigating numerous other reports.

Here is a round-up of new attacks on the press:

  • Egyptian security agents have detained Al-Jazeera Cairo Bureau Chief Abdel Fatah Fayed and journalist Ahmad Youssif, who was with him at the time, according to Al-Jazeera’s website.
  • Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor at the U.K. Observer, and Jack Shenker, aGuardian reporter, were stopped today while trying to enter Tahrir Square, the Guardianreported. The paper said they were intercepted by government forces, forced to kneel facing a wall, and interrogated. Beaumont was quoted by the Guardian as saying: “Although the square itself is calm, things around the periphery are very different. We were taken at a checkpoint and led to the Ministry of the Interior … We were held for two hours … and we were both warned that if we came anywhere near the square again, things wouldn’t go so nicely for us.”
  • Al-Hurra’s Cairo bureau was targeted on Thursday, the U.S. government-funded station told CPJ in an e-mail. Men stormed its offices and “threatened to kill Al-Hurra’s two on-air journalists–Akram Khuzam and Tarek El Shamy–if they didn’t leave the building,” the station said in a statement. The bureau was immediately closed.
  • Two correspondents for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Robert Tait and Abdelilah Nuaimi, were detained in Cairo, the U.S.-government funded station reported. “We call on the Egyptian authorities to release our correspondents and their equipment immediately,” RFE/RL News Director Jay Tolson said.
  • Andrew Henderson, a photographer working for UAE-based daily The National, was attacked on Thursday by a group of young men who broke his camera equipment,National reporter Hugh Naylor told CPJ in an e-mail. “Were it not for a bit of help from the military, he would likely have been mauled to death by an angry mob,” he told CPJ. Naylor himself was punched several times in the head “by some angry, plainclothes youth standing near the foreign ministry yesterday,” he said. “I will credit one apparent Mubarak loyalist for essentially saving my life. While pretending to be angry at me and taking my passport, he walked me away from the crowd and back safely to my hotel.”
  • Al-Jazeera’s Arabic website was hacked today, the station reported on the air. According to a statement from the station, “For two hours this morning (from 6.30 am-8.30am Doha time), a banner advertisement was taken over and replaced with the slogan of ‘Together for the collapse of Egypt,’ which linked to a page criticizing Al-Jazeera.” A spokesman for Al-Jazeera said that engineers “moved quickly to solve the problem,” TheGuardian reported.
  • Al-Jazeera’s Cairo office was stormed today by Mubarak supporters, the station reported on the air. Its office was vandalized and it equipment was set afire.
  • Prominent Egyptian Blogger Wael Abbas tweeted today that he was detained and later released by military forces. He said he has been “getting stopped by every single checkpoint.”
  • Al-Jazeera English producer Abdullah Mussa tweeted today that he had been attacked. He wrote: “Released from street checkpoint. Three machetes to my neck and angry mob. Foreign journalists are being accused if inflaming situation.”
  • Eric Feijten, a reporter for Dutch news broadcaster Nederlande Omroep Stichting (NOS), was arrested and released at least twice in the past two days. NOS released a statement after his first arrest saying that Feijten had been beaten and threatened. “Finally after 17 hours without drinking or eating, he was released in a small hotel near the airport,” NOS wrote. He left Egypt today and tweeted: “At the airport and there was even a ticket. Kicked out, so i am not happy because i failed to do my job.”
  • NPR reporter Lourdes Garcia-Navarro was attacked on Wednesday, the station reported. Garcia-Navarro was preparing a piece about the impact of demonstrations on the daily lives of Egyptians when she and her colleague, Ashraf Khalil, were surrounded by dozens of men. “We were asked if we were Israeli spies, or employees of the Arabic news network Al-Jazeera, who have been a particular target of the authorities here. It began to get heated and they wouldn’t let us leave,” Garcia-Navarro said. She added that Khalil was punched repeatedly in the face.
  • Andrew Butters of Time magazine was attacked on Thursday. “I was grabbed by a young guy with a club who hauled me over to an improvised checkpoint,” NPR quoted him as saying. He said it was clear that the actions were being coordinated by police and security agents.
  • Radio-Canada cameraman Sylvain Castonguay and Radio-Canada producer Jean-Francois Lepine were badly beaten by pro-government supporters near Cairo’s airport on Wednesday after their crew’s interpreter was assaulted, CBC reported.
  • A group of Chinese journalists were briefly detained on Thursday after customs officials discovered bulletproof vests, satellite phones, and walkie-talkies in their luggage, according to news reports. They were released but part of their equipment was confiscated
  • Al-Jazeera tweeted today that Egyptian authorities have released Cairo Bureau Chief Abdel Fatah Fayed and another journalist, Mohamed Fawi. Fawi works for Al-Jazeera Business News in Doha and was arrested while on vacation in Egypt. CPJ was unable to determine whether Ahmad Youssif, who was reportedly arrested with Fatah Fayed, was still being held.
  • Al-Arabiya reported today that men stormed the office of Al-Badil online newspaper in Cairo.
  • On January 28, police attacked Dana Smillie, a photographer working for Polaris Images. “A police vehicle with a shooter in the turret turned and drove up in our direction,” Smillie told CPJ in an e-mail. She was shot in her right thigh. “I pulled one metallic looking BB gun sized pellet out of my shirt. I had about a dozen wounds on my head, back, and buttocks,” she wrote.
  • On Sunday, Egyptian soldiers beat James Hider, Middle East correspondent for The Timesof London, at gunpoint, his sister, Claire Hider, told CPJ in an e-mail.
  • On February 4, Micah Garen, a photographer and documentary filmmaker, was detained by the military in Zamalek, in Cairo. “They started searching our stuff, and they became very angry when I told them I was a journalist. They looked at my pictures (of people in Tahrir) and said the photographs were illegal. They then took me and two Egyptians I was with to their commander on the other side of the bridge. When I told the commander I was an American, he stared at me coldly and said, ‘Wake up.’ He then took the flash card from my camera (after I had deleted the images), told me I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of demonstrations, and let us go. The whole incident lasted about 30 minutes. We were left having to walk a half hour in the dark to our hotel since there were no taxis and only more checkpoints,” Garen told CPJ in an e-mail.
  • Wissam Charaf, French reporter of Lebanese origin working for Franco-German TV network Arte, was briefly detained on Thursday, according to news reports. His passport was confiscated along with his mobile phone and tapes.
  • Carole Kerbage, a reporter for the Lebanese Al-Safir daily, was detained today, Al-Safir Shabab tweeted.
  • Hamish McDonald, senior foreign correspondent and presenter for Ten Network Australia, tweeted that he was detained briefly on Friday and released.
  • Osama Abdel Aziz, a journalist working for Al-Jazeera, was released today, the Qatar-based station reported. Abdel Aziz was arrested on January 31 at Cairo’s airport, according to news reports.
  • Lindsey Hilsum, a Channel 4 News international editor, tweeted that she saw journalists being detained today. “Checkpoint on road fm Alex to Cairo collecting journalists–we’ve bn here nearly an hour,” she wrote.
  • Mazhar Abbas, director of news for private Pakistani TV channel ARY News, told CPJ in an e-mail that a crew in Cairo has faced numerous hurdles in their reporting since they arrived on Thursday. Abbas said officials have seized their equipment and that they have been chased and threatened.
  • Freelance journalist Theodore May tweeted that he was “released after an hour+ detention by the military for filming with a Flip cam in Tahrir” and that officers forced him to delete his material.

To read more reports:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/02/detained-in-cairo.html#entry-more

http://500photographers.blogspot.com/2011/02/unconventional-post-egypt-attacks.html

http://cpj.org/2011/02/egyptian-media-say-foreign-journalists-have-hidden.php

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/photobooth/2011/02/postcard-from-tahrir-square-kate-brooks.html

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