The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) President Jean-Paul Philippot and Director General Ingrid Deltenre have written to Egyptian EBU Member ERTU, expressing their “extreme concern” about independent reports and allegations regarding the broadcaster’s coverage of a deadly riot in Cairo on 9 October.
Egyptian and international media, as well as NGOs monitoring reporting standards, have criticized the live ERTU broadcasts made during clashes between Coptic Christians and security forces. It is alleged that ERTU anchors did not report the events in an independent and impartial way, and some claim that ERTU encouraged viewers to side with the military.
In their communication to ERTU Chairman, Tharwat Meki, Mr Philippot and Ms Deltenre highlight the fact that “Membership of the EBU entails a commitment to independent and impartial reporting at the service of all sections of the population, including minorities”.
They also acknowledge ERTU’s institutional importance in Egypt’s movement towards a democratic future, while asserting that high editorial standards, including the sensitive handling of potentially inflammatory news, are essential to every independent and credible public service broadcaster.
The EBU has helped many of its Members through times of radical political transition, and is currently engaged in such a programme of assistance in Tunisia.