(Repeats Sunday story with no changes to text)
By Maggie Fick and Munir El-Boweti
CAIRO, July 7 "The army and people, one hand!"
was the rallying cry of jubilant masses of Egyptians in Cairo's
Tahrir Square on the night Hosni Mubarak fell, and again last
Wednesday, when the army overthrew elected President Mohamed
It resonates loud and clear in state media that have quickly
gone "on message", as they had been for 16 tumultuous months of
military rule following the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak.
The presence of Republican Guards in the studios of state
broadcasting headquarters on Wednesday, the day the army staged
its takeover, was an early sign that state media would reprise
their traditional role as loyal servants of a military-backed
Troops are still present in the building four days later.
Within hours of commander-in-chief General Abdel Fattah
al-Sisi broadcasting the announcement that Mursi had been
removed and the constitution suspended, authorities shut down
four private television stations controlled by Islamists.
They included the Muslim Brotherhood-owned Egypt 25.
Security forces arrested several dozen employees of the
stations. Among those raided was Qatar-based Al Jazeera's
Egyptian news channel, which military sources accused of
broadcasting "incitement". It remained on air.
Even before the takeover, Nile TV, one of two state
channels, had begun airing video montages of triumphant soldiers
performing their duties to the strains of patriotic music.
Soldiers rappelling from helicopters. Troops in full regalia
marching on parade. Eager young recruits listening to General
Sisi. Military vehicles barrelling across desert terrain.
Those images were layered with others invoking national
pride: the pyramids; Egypt's "victory" in crossing the Suez
Canal in the 1973 war with Israel; and flag-waving masses
thronging Cairo's Tahrir Square in the uprising against Mubarak.
The day after Mursi's removal, Nile TV and state radio
suddenly hosted studio guests who railed against the Brotherhood
as "enemies of the people" and cast Islamist supporters of the
elected president as instigators of violence.
HISTORY OF TIGHT CONTROL
Editors of state-owned newspapers are also adjusting to the
new disposition for fear of their jobs.
"Every editor-in-chief at national newspapers is treading
water, waiting for the new regime and its policies to
crystallise and taking into account that the armed forces have a
stance to be reckoned with," Attiya Eissawi, managing editor at
state-run Al-Ahram told Reuters.
"Many of them expect to be replaced if their new editorial
policies are not to the satisfaction of the new regime."
Some 52 senior executives and editors at Al-Ahram, including
the chairman of the company, which is also a publisher and
houses a policy think-tank, have been axed since the fall of
Mubarak and the election of Mursi, according to staff.
Although journalists from a state-run TV station and a
state-run newspaper said they had not yet received direct orders
from the military since it removed Mursi, activists say such a
move would be consistent with the army's policies towards the
media under previous governments.
"The military has always tightly controlled state media
coverage of anything related to them, whether positive or
negative," said Heba Morayef, Egypt director at Human Rights
Watch. "A return to that is not too difficult."
Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood made campaign promises to
reform laws and practices governing state media.
But rights activists and journalists say the toppled leader
tried to use government-owned channels and papers to his own
advantage as his predecessors had done, only less successfully.
Censorship efforts and soft pressure on editors by the Mursi
administration faced resistance inside Maspero, the huge state
broadcasting centre overlooking the Nile river.
State-employed journalists went on strike to demand the
removal of Mursi's information minister, Salah Abdel-Maqsoud.
In May, radio journalists stopped work in protest when the
top editor of state radio was transferred to a small station
covering youth affairs and sports, after the minister deemed a
Radio Misr broadcast insulting to the president.
As the political winds turned against Mursi, the facade of
loyalty among the state newspapers began to crack.
Al-Akhbar, one of the biggest, accused the Brotherhood of
meddling and incompetence in a front-page editorial by the
editor-in-chief the week before the mass anti-Mursi protests
that gave popular support for the army's action.
A journalist at al-Ahram told Reuters that phone calls from
the military and the security services regarding news coverage
had been the norm before Mubarak's fall.
"This time, they don't need to," the journalist said, citing
huge popular support for the military's toppling of Mursi.
"ONLY ONE PICTURE"
Since the Islamist channels were silenced, coverage of large
protests by Mursi supporters against his removal have been
scarce on state TV and at times completely absent on private
satellite channels that fiercely opposed the Brotherhood.
Al Jazeera's Egyptian station, Mubasher Misr, has faced
obstruction by officials and activists who accused it of bias
towards the Muslim Brotherhood.
"We have always tried to cover different events happening
around the country, and our split-screen coverage shows this,"
said Karim El-Assiuti, denying the charge of partiality.
"Unfortunately, the Egyptian media is only presenting one
picture of what's happening now. It's the picture of those who
want the military government," said Abdel Aziz Mujaahed, one of
29 Mubasher Misr staff members, including the station's general
manager, who were arrested on Wednesday.
A prosecutor ordered their release on Friday, but they were
told the case against them was ongoing, though they have not
been formally charged, Mujaahed said.
Gehad El-Haddad, a Brotherhood spokesman described Egyptian
journalists as "fiction writers". In a telephone interview from
the pro-Mursi sit-in, he said Egyptian media were not reporting
a crackdown that had killed dozens of people since the takeover.
"The state is taking a side, the army is taking a side,
national television is taking a side. Does anyone see how crazy
this is?" Haddad asked.
The Muslim Brotherhood's political arm said the state-owned
printing press refused to print its newspaper - Freedom and
Justice - for two days after Mursi's removal, but the paper was
back on some newsstands on Saturday.
A military source acknowledged restricting publication
because the paper planned to splash an article, which he said
was untrue, alleging that the army was split and a major unit
remained loyal to Mursi.
The tone of state media since the army takeover seems to
mirror the opinion of the millions of Egyptians who took to the
streets last weekend to demand that Mursi leave power.
"Under the Brotherhood, people didn't watch state
television. Now it has come back to the people. Since the June
30 revolution, it is reflecting the reality of the Egyptian
street," said Ahmed Sherif, 59, who works for a tourism company.
"State TV reflected politics that did not match those of the
people," agreed Mohamed Said, 48, a barber, sitting outside his
shop reading Al-Ahram.
(Additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla and Paul Taylor;
Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Paul Taylor and Will