In other words, facts are in short supply. Michael Hanna, an analyst with the New York-based Century Foundation, said that amid the confusion and the government’s lack of transparency, some of the press have resorted to what he called “rumor-mongering.” He pointed to “crazy, scurrilous stories about the MB [Muslim Brotherhood] and their plans for violence” during the run-up to the delayed announcement of the result of the presidential election in June.
“I think there’s a very obvious place right now, particularly because of how opaque everything is, and the lack of verifiable facts—there’s a real need for that kind of longform, investigative journalism and look at systemic issues,” he added.
Despite the challenges, Egyptian media are far freer than before. Rasha Abdulla observed, “People have broken the fear factor. No one is afraid to speak out anymore, whether in a newspaper or on television or to their neighbor. People are not shutting up anymore.”